Andy Robertson has not signed at Liverpool to play back up and has sent a warning James Milner’s way that his starting spot is not guaranteed.
I quite like Andy Robertson to be honest.
I’ve barely seen him play but his character and demeanour have been fantastic so far it has to be said.
The 23-year old Scot hasn’t exactly had the easiest of lead ups to becoming a professional footballer. Just five years ago the left-back was juggling working 9-5 answering phones at Hampden Park while playing amateur football for Queen’s Park.
“Queen’s Park was amateur so you don’t get paid,” he told the Telegraph.
“I worked in the corporate side of things. It was taking calls and orders for tickets for the concerts and the football games. There was a guy Andrew McGlennan who had worked at Queens Park for years. He sorted a lot of the boys out with jobs.”
“He looked after me and made sure I had some money in my pocket with a bit of hard work. He knew what the dream was and helped me. So did my mum and dad. We trained twice a week at night and played games on a Saturday so I was working 9am to 5pm and then having to train at 6pm.”
Robertson made his debut for Queen’s Park at 18 years of age in front of a crowd of just 372 people and luckily, after being given one final year to pursue his dream, was snapped up by Dundee United the following summer.
“I was going down the line of needing to apply for university or college. Maybe becoming a PE teacher or something in sports science,” he explained. “Luckily, that season was going quite well and by the January or February we knew that full-time clubs were in for me.”
By the end of his first season with Dundee, Robertson was crowned Scotland’s PFA Young Player of the Year and had been handed his international debut, earning him a move to England with Hull City.
“Jackie McNamara took me to Dundee United,” he recalled.
“I managed to go in and do everything that maybe they didn’t quite expect. It was perfect for me. Luckily in the first season, I just hit the ground running and I made the position my own. Then the English came calling. Steve Bruce managed to get hold of me.”
“I became a Hull player. It was probably the same again. I got thrown in. I remember Liam Rosenior getting injured the day before the Premier League started. Steve Bruce gave me the nod and said: ‘Go on, do what you can do’.”
Now, Robertson has gone up yet another level, making a big time switch to Liverpool this summer in a £10m move and the Scotsman didn’t need to be asked twice.
“There was talk between the two clubs and my agent, but until you’re on the plane on the way here you don’t want to get ahead of yourself,” he said.
“When Liverpool come in for you it’s a no-brainer, you don’t need to think about it.
“The first time I spoke to the manager I was taken away by him and his plans. Obviously, I’ve played against his side and know how hard it is against Jürgen Klopp’s team. To finally end up in the shirt is a massive honour, but one of relief as well after all the talk about it.
“I just couldn’t wait to get here once the fee was agreed. I want to be part of that team and make it hard for teams to break us down and beat us.”
Robertson’s first meeting with Klopp saw the Scottish defender detail his story to the German who not only likes to get to know his players as footballers but as people too.
“The manager was asking me about my story. He liked my journey from the very bottom of Scottish football to where I am now. That’s what has driven me along every season.
“I’ve come here wanting to be first choice,” he added.
“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.
“I respect the other players and I know how good a job they can do but I’ve just got to bring my A-game and hopefully it’s enough for me to first choice.”
It’s been a long ride for Robertson but it is likely he will make his first Liverpool appearance on Saturday when Klopp’s men take on Hertha Berlin in their next pre-season game.
You can read the full transcript of Robertson’s interview here.