Scott Groom discusses Andy Robertson’s importance to Liverpool and argues that the Scotsman is the most underrated player in the Premier League.
Rumours were rife this week that Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson was set to be rewarded for his outstanding form in Jürgen Klopp’s side with a new, improved contract – and the news was greeted with much gusto among Reds on social media.
Although it seems that the news is a little premature and that Robertson will be offered a new contract but just at some point in the near future, it has added fuel to the fire that the ‘Flying Scotsman’ has been one of Liverpool’s and the Premier League’s stand-out performers this season.
It seems to be, however, that Robertson’s talents are not as widely appreciated outside of the stands of Anfield, with many fans often picking other players, in particular, Benjamin Mendy, over Robertson as the Premier League’s best left-back.
For Liverpool fans who watch him week in, week out, it is a very frustrating argument to keep on seeing arise, and although our view may be considered as slightly biased, there can be no denying the former Hull City man’s talent.
Even the now departed Jose Mourinho praised Robertson in his post-match interview after Liverpool’s emphatic 3-1 win over Manchester United, stating he was just tired after watching him relentlessly bomb up and down the left flank for 90 minutes.
This attacking prowess, directness and cutting-edge delivery into the box is a big part of Robertson’s game, and is one that Klopp and Liverpool look to utilise on a regular basis – with Robertson already notching up five assists in 21 games in all competitions this season.
It’s not only his killer left foot or boundless energy that is an attacking asset for Liverpool though, he is a very intelligent footballer, always opening up angles on the over and under-lapping runs or providing his fellow defence with an out ball when they are under pressure by hugging the left touchline and carrying the ball away from his own goal.
All of this is balanced out very nicely with his defensive reliability, and his game does not solely rely on his attacking abilities – seemingly like that of his main rival for a starting position: Alberto Moreno.
He is composed under pressure, does not dive in and has brilliant positional awareness which was epitomised by his superb header against Manchester United to deny Marouane Fellaini a clear goal-scoring opportunity with the score at 1-1.
It may yet happen, as Robertson’s Liverpool career is still in its early stages, but he is yet to be caught horrendously out of position – and this may well be partially down to his exceptional work rate and desire to be heavily influential at both ends of the pitch for his team.
He also seems very mature in the manner that he does defend, particularly in one-on-one situations. He never dives in, always stands his man up and tries to show them outside. There’s never a moment of panic or a rush of blood to the head.
To do all of this on a regular basis is impressive, but Robertson has been performing to this standard in every single game he’s been picked in since arriving at Melwood and never lets his level drop below a 7/10. It is quite remarkable really when you think about it.
Keeping in mind that he is still in the early stages of his career on Merseyside, if he should maintain this level of performance, he will enjoy a long and prosperous time here as he’s one of the first names on the team sheet – and that’s nothing to do with the lack of competition for his place provided by Moreno.
And when you consider that Klopp paid a mere £8 million for his services from a relegated Hull City side, it speaks volumes. But when you consider that Kevin Stewart went the other way for a very similar figure, Robertson was almost a free signing.
He is lighting up this Liverpool side and the Premier League, and it’s about time that everyone else sat up and took notice, because it won’t be long before he’s regarded in the same light as some of the world’s greatest left backs – and not just by Liverpool fans.