Liverpool are set to take advantage of the diligence and reliability of James Milner by making him their second-choice left-back for 2016/17 after failing in their attempts to land Leicester’s Ben Chigwell.
Yet surely, the man who was reportedly signed from Manchester City on the promise that he would play in his favoured central-midfield role at Anfield deserves better?
In a squad were the first-pick at left full-back is the defensively suspect semi-flop Alberto Moreno, Milner’s tactical conscientiousness could easily see him railroaded into playing in the rearguard for the majority of the campaign.
The England international was one of the leading creators in the Premier League last season, mustering 11 assists across that competition alone.
He dished up 14 goals for teammates across all avenues, with all bar one setup coming from stations on the right or centre of midfield, making posting him out on the left if the backline seem almost perverse.
In fact his influence on the side’s goalscoring prospects can be upgraded, given the majority of his best work came after his return from a hamstring injury on January 13.
Between then and May 1, he scored four goals and assisted nine more across 20 Premier League and Europa League appearances, a nothing sort of stellar return.
Often deployed on the right side of either the middle three of a 4-3-3 or more advanced four in a 4-4-2, there is no need to shift Milner to accommodate new signing Sadio Mane, who could easily play ahead of him, either.
Liverpool are 6/4 to regain the Champions League thread by finishing in the top-four of England’s elite division next season, making them sixth favourites in the betting.
Yet, the prospect of them beginning the campaign with a man who has previously told reporters that left or right-back are not positions he wants to play in as one of their most likely starters in the former role means that they struggle to beguile at their current price.