Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has suggested the days of James Milner starting at left-back could be over.
Milner, 31, became the Reds' first choice on the left-hand side of defence last season after Alberto Moreno fell out of favour under the German. The former Sevilla defender has won his way back into his manager's good books, however, having started and completed three of his side's four Premier League matches so far this season, having also been given the nod against his former club in Wednesday's Champions League opener.
Andy Robertson, a summer signing from Hull City gives Klopp another option in that position with all six of Milner's appearances in the Premier League and Champions League qualifying phase coming in a central midfield role – with all but one of them off the bench.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash against Burnley, Klopp explained he still sees the club captain as a third-choice option at full-back off the bench, but revealed he is no longer training in that role.
"It is difficult with the full-backs," Klopp said. "Andy Robertson is not often in the squad. He played against Palace, it is so difficult to leave him out, but Alberto Moreno, probably 90% of the people doubted him but he played outstandingly offensively and defensively against Sevilla. That is the situation. When we have no second left-back [on the bench] and we have to make a change, he [Milner] would be the left-back without training in this positon because James plays in all the sessions in midfield."
On the opposite flank, Klopp is without first-choice option Nathaniel Clyne who has been ruled out for a "significant period of time" due to a back problem. The Liverpool boss has alternated between 18-year-old Trent Alexander Arnold and 20-year-old Joe Gomez and has called for supporters to show patience as they get to grips with the demands of first-team football.
"Trent is not ready to play two games every week or three or four games in a row and that is absolutely okay. Joe has had two similar situations, he was a bit too deep [when Sevilla equalised on Wednesday], the boys have to improve but they are our boys. It is no problem.
"These boys are so exciting and I cannot believe we would bring a shadow of doubt to their development. They are already top-class players. What's the problem?"