Petrov backs Milner for WC
Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov believes team-mate James Milner can be a 'star' at the World Cup.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 23/03/10 9:54pm
Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov believes team-mate James Milner can make a real impact at this summer's World Cup with England.
Milner has scored 10 goals in all competitions this term with a string of match-winning displays thrown into the mix in a solid season for the seven-time England international.
The versatile midfielder is expected to get a place on the plane to South Africa after becoming a regular in Fabio Capello's plans.
An injury to veteran David Beckham could also work in the former Leeds player's favour, and club team-mate Petrov believes Capello would not regret his inclusion.
"James was a wide player, but he has always preferred to play in the middle. He has been doing really well," said the Bulgarian.
"His energy is amazing and he has helped the team a lot. He can play anywhere.
"He has been brilliant - and if he continues to progress like that, he will be the star of the World Cup. He has both the ability and the attitude to make a real impact.
"He has scored 10 goals from midfield, which is really good. He has the licence to get forward and he shows great composure in front of goal.
"His work-rate is great, as well. He deserves everything he gets."
Villa winger Ashley Young, who is also on the fringes of Capello's squad, has echoed Petrov's praise, despite being in direct competition with him to land a World Cup role.
However, Young is appreciative of the versatility of Milner's game and admits the 24-year-old is a frontrunner for Villa's player of the season award.
"Regardless of what position James has played, he's just been tremendous all season," said Young, who also has seven England caps.
"He's definitely a contender to be player of the season already. He has been fantastic for us and the way he goes about his job is just exceptional.
"We've got quality players in the middle there like James and Stiliyan but then we've got the likes of Steve Sidwell and Fabian Delph too.
"We've got competition but Milly has been brilliant for us, just brilliant."