Milner could deputise as an optional full-back for Liverpool this season as Klopp prepares to be patient over transfers

The Liverpool boss wants long-term competition at left-back and right-back, so could use James Milner there for the time being if he doesn't get his man.

Milner could deputise as an optional full-back for Liverpool this season as Klopp prepares to be patient over transfers
Milner shields the ball during the Europa League final (photo; Getty Images)

James Milner could be set for some minutes in a full-back role this season, as Jürgen Klopp prepares to be patient in his bid to bring more competition to Liverpool's defence.

Rumours as to who will be bought at full-back this summer have been never ending, with fans keen to see Alberto Moreno given some competition at left-back, and Nathaniel Clyne be given someone that can come in when he needs a rest at right-back.

Liverpool in need of cover at full-back

The likes of Connor Randall and Jon Flanagan can come in at right-back, so links to that position have been few and far between, however there have been a number of names thrown around regarding the left-back position, especially when it became clear that Liverpool were going to sell Brad Smith to AFC Bournemouth, a move that was finalised earlier this week.

However, nobody has yet come in, and things took another blow when the reported main left-back target, Ben Chilwell of Leicester City, signed a new contract with the Foxes on Thursday, after they couldn't agree a fee with the Reds for his departure. 

With this in mind, it now appears that manager Klopp could be prepared to wait another summer to get the sort of player that he really wants in the position, with just a month left in the transfer window.

Milner could be used as a defender following midfield moves

Determined to buy someone that can be at Liverpool for many years, rather than a quick fix, it's now thought that Klopp could turn to James Milner, utilising the experienced Englishman as a back-up full-back.

Known for his versatility, it's thought that Milner could struggle for gametime in midfield this season after the signing's of Georginio Wijnaldum, Marko Grujic and Sadio Mane, plus Liverpool's lack of European football.

Therefore, due to his solid defensive attributes and tremendous workrate, Milner could slot in as a full-back as and when needed, on either side of the defence. 

He played there in part against Chelsea in the International Champions Cup on Thursday, as the Reds slipped to a 1-0 defeat thanks to Gary Cahill's first-half header. 

Asked for his thoughts on the game by Liverpool's website, the 30-year-old said; "The result's not really important in pre-season. It's about fitness first and foremost, getting the match practice in and putting things into the game that we've been working on in training."

Cahill's header saw Liverpool defeated in California on Thursday morning (photo; Getty Images)
Cahill's header saw Liverpool defeated in California on Thursday morning (photo; Getty Images)