After an £10million move from Hull City in the summer, Liverpool’s newest Scot has descended into obscurity within the squad. Frequently being left out of match-day squads and having limited first team chances was probably not how Andy Robertson would have imagined the first few months of his Liverpool career panning out, but unfortunately for the Glaswegian, it the reality of the situation for him. LFC Transfer Room’s Anthony Stonelake (@AnthonyMarkMcav) takes a look at the situation regarding the Liverpool left back.
With just two Premier League appearances to his name this season, and an outing in the Carabao Cup also to his name, the 2013-14 Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year must be cursing the name Alberto Moreno, with the Spaniard firmly asserting himself as Jurgen Klopp’s first choice left-back this season, despite an abysmal campaign last season and two stellar performances from Robertson. Unfortunately for Robertson, Jurgen Klopp’s trust in Moreno has seemingly been well founded, (so far…) as he has performed to the standard expected of a Liverpool defender in all but one of his games this season.
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“There was a transition going on at Celtic at the time where a new head of youth had come in. I didn’t fit the bill,”*
Andy Robertson’s story is definitely one to be proud of, with the 23-year-old being part of the Celtic youth system before being told that he was “too small.” He then went on to join his local team, Queen’s Park in the Scottish Third Division, helping the side to a third place finish in the league. He then signed for Dundee United that summer, and was quickly thrown into the makeup of a Scottish Premiership side, which provided a massive learning curve for Andy, who was, at the time, only 19. 12 months and a Young Player of the Year award later, Robertson was picked up by Hull City, who picked him up for less than £3million. He made 115 appearances for the Tigers over the three seasons that he was there, scoring five goals from his left-back berth. All of this before Liverpool picked him up this past summer. Quite the eventful career already, and still only 23!
Robertson has also become a fixture of the Scottish National Team in recent years, even relegating the highly regarded Keiran Tierney to having to play out of position at right-back.
“Obviously it is up to the manager as the competition will be big for the position, but it’s one where I’m hoping to come out on top. I don’t like it if I’m not part of the starting team. I don’t like sitting on the bench even when it was very rare at Hull to rest during cup games. I’m not a good spectator, I’m a nightmare when I’m injured and I’m not playing.”*
As I mentioned previously, Andy Robertson has taken part in two Premier League games this season, the 1-1 draw with Burnley and the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, winning Man of the Match in the latter. His performances really do speak for themselves, with his crossing being one of the better elements of his game and an absolute joy to behold. Now, I’m not saying that he is completely flawless in his play, and there a few specifics that he definitely needs to work on, including his 1-on-1 tackling, which has been mentioned by Jurgen Klopp already. The trouble here is that we haven’t really been able to see him against opposition that can challenge him defensively. Wilfred Zaha of Crystal Palace would’ve been a perfect opportunity, but the Eagles man was out injured at the time that we faced them. Xherdan Shaqiri would also be a good opponent for Robbo to face as his first true defensive battle in Red, but it remains to be seen if he will play against Stoke tonight, or not.
It’s clear that Robertson wants to be involved with the Liverpool side, and I have every bit of faith that he will be waiting patiently and with a lot of motivation to take every little chance that he can get. Jurgen Klopp is notorious for being one of the best coaches in the world at training players that he has to become better, more complete players. We have seen this with Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and James Milner’s position at left-back last season. I have a lot of hope for Robertson and I hope Jurgen Klopp will give him the nurture and care that he needs to develop into an even more solid left-back. It’s a game of waiting.
*Quotes taken from Chris Bascombe’s interview with Robertson, via the Telegraph.