Brendan Rodgers today confirmed James Milner has been appointed as Liverpool's vice-captain.
The summer signing from Manchester City will serve as Jordan Henderson’s understudy for 2015-16, with the manager announcing the decision at his pre-Stoke City press conference on Friday afternoon.
Asked about the impact Milner has made since arriving at Anfield in July, Rodgers told reporters: “He is someone I admired from the outside for a long time. He’s played at this level since he was 16 years of age and has played for some fantastic clubs.
“He went to Man City and did a great job and when the possibility he was going to be available, obviously you’re surprised but then you’re hoping you can get him to come to your club because he’s the type of player who gives everything.
“His actual football talent has probably gone under the radar because he’s played around some outstanding talents, but this is a guy who works tirelessly at his game. He’s in here at 7.45am in the morning making sure he’s prepared for his training, getting all of his food supplements and getting everything correct before training – he’s in two-and-a-half hours before he trains and then does his work, gives his maximum. He prepares himself like an elite player should.
“He’s also got big character and a big mentality, and I felt we needed that in the team to the extent where he will be the vice-captain this year.
“Jordan has been appointed the captain, but he’ll be a great ally for him because he leads by example. James is a wonderful, wonderful footballer and a big personality in the dressing room as well.
“His commitment, his qualities, how dynamic he is on the training field and how demanding he is of other players. That in terms of the captaincy and vice-captaincy can work really well for us.”
Rodgers also had words of praise for the manner in which Henderson has taken to the role of Liverpool captain since being awarded the armband on a permanent basis in July.
The boss is also confident the 25-year-old will develop his leadership skills even further as he grows in confidence.
“As he becomes comfortable in the role, that’ll progress in his leadership,” said Rodgers. “You see it on the field, he’s very dynamic and leads by example.
“Off the field he’s been absolutely outstanding and has been a wonderful ambassador in his first summer [as captain] on tour in taking on that mantle. He’s done fantastically well. For him, it’s a new experience but one that he is really relishing and thriving under.”