De Zerbi: There's more to come from Milner

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Roberto De Zerbi has described James Milner as ‘incredible’ as the Albion midfielder prepares to join elite company against West Ham United tonight.

By Bruce Talbot • 02 January 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
James Milner was impressive in last Thursday's 4-2 win over Spurs.

The 37-year-old will equal Ryan Giggs on 632 Premier League appearances if he plays at the London Stadium with only Gareth Barry, who started his career with Albion, ahead of them on 653.

And De Zerbi believes the evergreen Milner could go on and break more records.

“We are happy to have him in our squad,” said De Zerbi. “He has been unlucky because he’s suffered injuries but now he is playing very well and without problems and helping us reach a higher level in our mentality and our quality of play.

“His attitude is great, his energy is great and I think he can play more years. His qualities are clear, he has won everything in football but if you watch him in training it’s incredible. The age is on paper. On the pitch if you are 18 or 16 or 40, nothing changes.”


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Milner: It was nice to be in midfield!

Milner was outstanding in last week’s 4-2 home win over Spurs, although his excellence did not surprise De Zerbi.

“I wasn’t surprised because I know his qualities,” added the head coach. “I think he has played not to the usual level [earlier in the season] because he has suffered a lot of injuries. But about his quality and about the level of the player, not just his experience - everybody knows.”

Teddy Sheringham is the oldest outfield player to play in the Premier League (at 40 years and 272 days, for West Ham in December 2006) So does De Zerbi think Milner could beat that record?

“Teddy Sheringham was an amazing player! But, yes, I think James can reach that point because physically he has no problem, and he has the passion. When I watch him on the training ground or in games, I forget his age.”