Heskey – Milner application an inspiration for all

James Milner was singled out for special praise by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp this week as the 33-year-old continues to shine.

Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey says James Milner's attitude means he has a significant role to play both on and off the pitch this season.

The midfielder has had to bide his time for chances over the last year, but he proved his worth by converting a last-minute penalty to preserve the club’s unbeaten start to the Premier League when they edged out Leicester City 2-1.

That injury-time strike was the 17th spot-kick he has scored for the Reds and that record has maintained his reputation as a penalty specialist, something that Heskey saw first hand when the pair were together at Aston Villa.

Even then the 33-year-old was pinpoint from the spot, something the former striker puts down to his unflappable nature and, more importantly, plenty of practice.

Despite his success on the field, Milner’s low key personality has seen him labelled as “boring” on social media, but team-mates past and present have seemingly never had a bad word to say about him.

The Leeds-born star recently surpassed Heskey as the player with the fifth most Premier League appearances and now has 150 outings in the bank for the Anfield club.

While a bench role has mainly been on the agenda for the veteran in recent months, Jurgen Klopp knows he can rely on Milner to perform when called on, despite doubts over his contract situation.

Heskey says he is not surprised by his former colleague’s longevity, crediting him as an example for all footballers to follow.

“He was huge. Not only a leader on the pitch, but off the pitch as well,” Heskey told Liverpool’s website. “He’s a lad that’s been looking after his body properly for many a year, so I’m guessing he’ll still go for a few more years if he wants to.

“He shows what you can do if you apply yourself and look after your body.”