James Milner has hailed the Academy graduates who have joined the senior Reds during pre-season.

The former England international admitted that the academy players have grasped their opportunity with both hands, impressing senior players in the process.

James Milner urging Curtis Jones (17) on during Liverpool's pre-season game against Manchester City

Milner, who has played in some experienced teams through the years, has already trained with Liverpool new recruits this summer but the 32-year-old was delighted to see the youngster coming through performing well on and off the pitch.

Speaking to liverpoolfc.com, he said:  “There are so many players here and so much quality and competition for places,” said the vice-skipper. “The young lads have come in as well and some people might think that’s to make up the numbers at the start, but they’ve more than proven that wrong. They’re here for their quality and pushing everyone as well.”

Milner spends some time with the fans during Liverpool's pre-season tour of the United States.

Milner spends some time with the fans during Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the United States.

“It’s great to see and for them to come in and be as comfortable as they have been, working hard and showing their quality, it’s not easy to stand out with the amount of quality players we have in the squad, but they’ve come in and stood out.

“There is competition for places all over the field and that’s what you want at a top team.”

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James Milner has hailed the Academy graduates who have joined the senior Reds during pre-season. The former England international admitted that the academy players have grasped their opportunity with both hands, impressing senior players in the process. Milner, who has played in some experienced teams through the years, has already trained with...