Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Andy Robertson has added another element to his game

When you have a player as statistically breathtaking on a weekly basis as Andy Robertson, it is hard to imagine that performances levels are still able to improve.

This isn’t to say that the Scotland captain isn’t immune to the odd defensive mishap nor does his form sometimes take the occasional dip, but in general, he has become an embodiment for consistency in a Liverpool team that is littered in world-class options.

Other than chipping in with a few more goals or using his right-foot more effectively from dangerous areas, there is limited critique when analysing Robertson’s performance levels.

Against Leeds United on Saturday it was encouraging to see the 26-year-old rewarded following yet another statistical boost in his individual numbers: assists from set-pieces.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Leeds United’s Helder Costa battles with Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield on September 12, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Marginal gains

It’s a trend that Robertson – who cost the club just £10 million [BBC] – has harnessed since the halfway point of last season and came to the fore against Marcelo Bielsa’s team after the Scotsman’s pinpoint delivery from a right-swinging corner found Virgil van Dijk who hammered home a thumping header to hand Liverpool a 2-1 lead.

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According to WhoScored, Robertson took just 43 of the club’s 256 corners in the league last season – the second most in the entire squad.

Robertson’s rather limited involvement from set-pieces was partly due to individual brilliance of fellow full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold who took 162 of the team’s total corners – Salah was the third most frequent taker with 28.

Perhaps what is most telling in demonstrating a spike in Robertson’s statistical output is that in the opening 19 league matches of the 2019/20 campaign, Robertson took just three of the 43 corners he totalled throughout the first half of the campaign.

Since the home fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 29, Robertson added an additional 40 corners on route to Liverpool’s procession towards a 19th league title.

In his previous 10 league matches, Robertson has taken 27 corners which is a considerable spike to last year where he was a peripheral figure from that statistical area.

It typifies the marginal gains Jurgen Klopp has looked to implement into Liverpool’s game this season to make the team more unpredictable from set-pieces.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Andy Robertson of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield on September 12, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Added unpredictability from Andy Robertson

By possessing a left-footed threat to complement the extrodinary vision of Alexander-Arnold makes Liverpool much more deadly from both set-pieces and open play.

Together the full-back duo clocked up 25 assists last season and with a more balanced system from set-pieces this term, there is every possibility that both players can register even more this time around.

What sets Robertson apart as a defensive marksmen is his ability to add a range of variety to his delivery whether from set-pieces or open play. Last season, 63% of his corners were out-swingers, 14% in-swingers while the remaining 23% were either lofted balls into the box or short passes.

It’s this sense of unpredictability that have had a direct effect on Robertson’s output in terms of assists. Following on from his latest heroics during the 4-3 win on Saturday, he now has directly assisted in five of Liverpool’s previous six PL matches according to Transfermarkt.

Entering the prime years of his career, it is scary to think that from a statistical standpoint that Robertson can still get better.

It is reflective of the inner drive that has been installed from a player who has in quick-time gone from a rather unknown prospect in Scottish football to arguably the finest left-back on the planet.

For Robertson, the sky is the limit and Liverpool look set to continue reaping the rewards.

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