Milner: I want to develop and learn under De Zerbi

Midfielder joined Albion on a one-year deal on Wednesday.

By Charlie Hanson • 14 June 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
James Milner spent eight years with Liverpool, playing alongside Adam Lallana for five of those.

James Milner has said the opportunity to work under Roberto De Zerbi was a major pull in signing for Albion.

The midfielder will depart Liverpool at the end of June for The Amex, bringing an end to a trophy laden eight years with the Reds.

The 37-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the option for another year with us, with the exciting aura around the club a real selling point.

“I was fortunate to have a few offers on the table, but Brighton really excited me,” James said. “You look at the journey the club has been on in both the short term and long term, it’s really impressive. 

By Liverpool FC
James Milner won the Premier League with Liverpool in 2020.

“The football Brighton play is outstanding, with a great group of players and an exciting manager.

“I’ve had a couple of chats with Roberto. He’s an exciting manager, he’s really passionate, forward thinking and has a fantastic way of setting up his team. He’s someone who is confident in himself and loves his team.” 

Milner’s 20-year career has seen him work under some of the big names in the game, including Jurgen Klopp for the last eight years. 

The former Leeds, Aston Villa and Manchester City man sees De Zerbi reaching the German’s level in management one day.

“I have no idea what my next step is after my playing days, I’ve done my coaching badges and it’s maybe an option for me. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Jurgen Klopp has been manager of Liverpool since October 2015.

“I’ve been really lucky with some of the managers I have worked under in the last 20 years, I have got to learn from Jurgen Klopp for the last eight years, who is one of the best. Sometimes though it’s good to have the option to have a change and work under someone different and build my knowledge. 

“Roberto’s a head coach who doesn’t have the experience of Jurgen yet, but having spoken to people about him you can definitely see him being in that bracket further down the line. You see what a good job he has done in his relatively short time at Brighton, the way his players work and that was very attractive to me. 

“I want to broaden my knowledge and gain experience under a new manager and that was a big pull. You always want to learn and improve.”