James Milner Is Coming of Age at Manchester City This Season

Aaron GalesCorrespondent IIJanuary 15, 2013

James Milner was oustanding against Arsenal on Sunday
James Milner was oustanding against Arsenal on SundayMike Hewitt/Getty Images

When James Milner swiveled in the box and rifled a brilliant shot into the far corner of the Arsenal goal, it showed his continued development as an outstanding Premier League player. He was excellent for the rest of the game and gave a first class example of how to play as a winger even if you don't possess lightning pace.

Milner has been at City for two and a half years and after a couple of stop start seasons where he has found himself in and out of the team, with injuries not helping his cause, he is finally starting to establish himself as a key performer for Roberto Mancini's men. It is fantastic to see an English player thriving in a club such as Manchester City, and is an example to any player of somebody who has made the most of their ability.

Hopefully for Milner, Manchester City and England he can now keep his place and continue to thrive. The last thing James Milner needs in his career is yet another transfer.

After breaking through at hometown club Leeds United when he was just 16 years of age Milner has enjoyed something of a nomadic career. Whilst at Leeds he enjoyed a short loan spell at Swindon before moving to Newcastle United following the the relegation of Leeds.

After one full season he was sent on loan to Aston Villa to further his experience. This almost became a permanent transfer, but for a last minute change of heart by then Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder.

He then established himself as a key component of that Newcastle team before earning a big money move to Aston Villa under Martin O'Neill. It was during this two year spell that Milner started to thrive. Given the central role he so craved he played 49 games for Villa as they were runners up in the League Cup. He contributed his best ever goals tally, scoring 12 and being named PFA Young player of the year and also being selected in the team of the year.

After being one of England's better performers in the 2010 World Cup he earned his big money move to Manchester City.

Despite being in and out of the side during his time at the club he has shown an exemplary attitude and always given total commitment when he has been selected and has been rewarded with a Premier League and FA Cup winners medal.

With Samir Nasri woefully out of form this season, Milner has been presented with a chance to finally seal his spot in the first eleven. He has been a key performer under the reign of Roy Hodgson and it is vitally important that he is getting regular football at club level to maintain his form for England. He is an incredibly versatile performer being able to function in a number of different positions and with a little bit of luck could play the game for another ten years given his extraordinary fitness levels.

With the sad demise of the career of Michael Johnson, James Milner is a prime example of what can be achieved through a bit of hard work and commitment.