James Milner
James Milner is one of seven players to have joined Liverpool so far this summer. Getty

James Milner has admitted that the opportunity to occupy a regular role in central midfield was a key factor in his decision to reject the offer of a contract extension at Manchester City and complete a free transfer to Liverpool.

The experienced and highly dependable England international was last month confirmed as the first arrival of a busy transfer window on Merseyside, penning a long-term deal and successfully undergoing a medical before his exit from City became official on 1 July.

Milner, a Premier League winner in both 2012 and 2014, was used in a variety of positions during his five-year stint at the Etihad Stadium and many previous managers have felt his industrious style is perhaps best utilised down the flanks or even at full-back.

The player himself has previously made no secret of his preference to play through the middle, however, and the desire to ensure he can do so on a frequent basis next season appears to have been the driving force behind his decision to link-up with Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

"This move was a selfish move for me," he told Liverpool's official website. "Obviously playing at City and playing in different positions – the team will always come first, that's the way I believe it should be, no matter where you are.

"But I think the move to come to Liverpool and take that mantle on myself was more of a selfish move and hopefully I can do well and contribute to success at Liverpool. I'd like to think you will see the best of me now I am in the central role.

"I probably would agree with Brendan. I had some good seasons at City, but it was made harder coming in and going out of the side. When that happens it's not easy keeping your form up.

"Probably I get noticed more being in that central role and at Aston Villa I won Young Player of the Year and was in the team of the year. So it stands out. What is more, nobody wanted to pay the kind of money that City paid for me until I did play central midfield.

"Playing in the middle was a big part of me coming to Liverpool. I want to play in central midfield and I think that is my best position."

Gerrard's legacy

Liverpool bid farewell to arguably the most influential midfielder in their illustrious history this summer, when long-time captain Steven Gerrard called time on his 17-year association with the club in order to join Major League Soccer outfit the Los Angeles Galaxy.

In previously maligned new skipper Jordan Henderson, Rodgers can lay claim to one of the most dramatically improved players in the Premier League over recent seasons and supporters will hope he and Milner can provide a solid base from which Brazilian Roberto Firmino can thrive alongside the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Danny Ings and Christian Benteke in the final third.

Lucas Leiva and Emre Can are both capable of occupying a slightly deeper role in front of the back four, meanwhile, while exciting young winger Jordon Ibe continues to position himself as a perfectly capable long-term successor to Raheem Sterling.

Ibe, 19, netted a superb left-footed strike to secure a 1-1 draw in the pre-season friendly against a Malaysian XI in Kuala Lumpur on 24 July.

Milner has also scored during Liverpool's tour of Southeast Asia and Australia, notching a 75th-minute winner against the Brisbane Roar and also grabbing the opener as Rodgers' side beat Adelaide United 2-0.