The former Germany international reportedly played a part in the sequence of events that ended up bringing the Reds’ makeshift left-back to Anfield.
Liverpool legend Terry McDermott was the assistant manager of another Reds legend Kevin Keegan when the latter was in charge at Newcastle United. He has recently revealed that the club went through with the sale of England international James Milner in order to fund a marquee signing.
The signing in question was that of current Manchester United outcast and former Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger.
“Kevin said ‘if we sell him for 15 million quid, how are we going to replace him?,” said McDermott, according to the Liverpool Echo. “They said ‘we’ve already got one – Schweinsteiger’. He’s at Man United now but seven or eight years ago he was a superstar and they said we could get him (from Bayern Munich).
“The idea of accepting the bid of 15 million for Milner, which was a lot of money then, and then we’re looking to get Schweinsteiger it’s a no brainer.”
Newcastle United ended up selling James Milner to Aston Villa in 2008. Two years later he was snapped up by a newly ambitious Manchester City. The veteran midfielder left City on a free transfer to Liverpool last summer and has since been a key player for the Reds.
Milner is currently the club’s top scorer in the Premier League, scoring four penalties and providing one assist. He has been used by manager Jurgen Klopp in the left-back position, which has been a problem area for the club given Alberto Moreno’s propensity for critical errors.
The 30-year-old has managed to excel in the unfamiliar role, most recently scoring the winning goal against Swansea City, much to the joy of the fans. He has also been appointed the vice-captain by Klopp and his experience can be very influential in the development of his younger teammates.
On the other hand, Schweinsteiger is unlikely to feature for Manchester United ever again. The 32-year-old remains on a £200,000-a-week wage while training with the club reserves. One can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Milner had stayed at Newcastle, or if Schweinsteiger had sensationally joined the Tyneside club back in 2008.