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How did Andrew Robertson fare on his Liverpool debut against Hertha Berlin?

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Robertson

In what Andrew Robertson described as “an honour”, the Scottish international pulled on the Liverpool shirt for the first time on Saturday. Having completed a move from Hull City for an initial £8 million, he joined his team-mates for training in Germany and made his debut against Hertha Berlin this weekend.

Introduced at half-time, Robertson replaced Alberto Moreno in a move likely to replicate Liverpool’s transfer business this summer. Immediately, the Scotsman looked comfortable and confident on the ball as he demanded possession from his new team-mates. He looked focused and determined, often looking for a quick pass or throw in, part of which led to the third goal as his quick throw to Philippe Coutinho was the first stage of Mohamed Salah’s strike.

The most eye catching aspect of his debut was undoubtedly his attacking play. On more than one occasion, Robertson burst forwards down the left flank, working well with the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Ryan Kent. His overlapping runs and crosses into the box added another dimension to the Reds’ attack and immediately caused problems for the Germans.

Defensively, the former Hull man also seemed assured. On one occasion he did look unsettled as his man did enough to get past him and deliver a low cross across the six yard box, but other than that one moment, he had no issues. A number of firm tackles and blocks made it clear that he was not prepared to be beaten on his debut.

It was evident from Robertson’s first appearance that he is not quite the finished package yet. A raw talent with huge potential, he made an impressive start to life in the red of Liverpool. He certainly made a claim to be first choice and will undoubtedly improve with time and confidence, particularly working alongside the likes of James Milner to develop his game.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

Liverpool

Naby Keita’s Bundesliga struggles could prove crucial to Liverpool’s transfer window

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Photo: Getty Images.

Liverpool‘s transfer business could be heavily influence by events in Germany over the final few weeks as reports indicate that the deal with RB Leipzig for Naby Keita could see the fee depend upon the German team’s league finish this season.

The Times say that a Champions League finish for Keita’s team will see the final fee cost Liverpool £59 million, whilst a Europa League place would see it lower to £52.75 million and seventh position or lower will see it fall as low as £48 million.

Leipzig’s woeful run of form has seen them lose two and draw one of their last three league games, being knocked out of the Europa League by Olympique Marseille in the process.

Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim have capitalised to climb above them, and now they may even struggle to make the Europa League with Eintracht Frankfurt hot on their heels only a point behind.

(Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Liverpool have already paid part of the fee for the midfielder, but a saving of £11 million is not to be sniffed at and could give Jurgen Klopp more money to spend in the summer.

The German coach is not expected to spend big to spark substantial changes at Anfield, but improvements are needed in some areas of the squad, such as in goal and in midfield, and £11 million could go a long way to bringing one of those in.

Given that Andrew Robertson joined for a fee believed to be in the region of £8 million, Liverpool fans would love the chance of making another such signing purely with the money saved by RB Leipzig’s struggles.

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Liverpool

“Pathetic”: Is Garth Crooks right to criticise Jurgen Klopp for Liverpool draw?

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Photo: Getty Images.

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has hit out at Jurgen Klopp after the Reds were held to a 2-2 draw by West Brom, with Jake Livermore and Salomon Rondon cancelling out Liverpool‘s two goal lead.

In his BBC Sport Team of the Week column, Crooks slammed the Liverpool coach, criticising his tactics and team selection as well as his comments after the Baggies mounted a late comeback.

“Jurgen Klopp’s suggestion that the Albion pitch not being watered at half-time was somehow responsible for his team losing a two-goal lead is about as pathetic as it gets,” he wrote.

He also said that Liverpool “had two eyes firmly fixed on their mid-week Champions League game against Roma.”

“The Reds made five changes to their starting line-up, let a two-goal lead slip from their grasp and made a poor substitution.

“Yet manager Jurgen Klopp thinks he had nothing to do with this 2-2 result. Wow!”

It is hard to see exactly why Crooks took exception with such a move, given that even with the draw and assuming both Tottenham and Chelsea win their games in hand, Liverpool would still be in the top four by five points with three games left to play.

Given that, for the first time, all top four sides will qualify directly for the group stage, it is of little real consequence to the Reds if they finish in second or fourth and rotating is vital to have players fresh for a Champions League semi-final.

Klopp was criticised in 2016/17 for not rotating the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, leading to injuries, but he seems to be managing his squad more effectively this campaign.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

In one piece of praise, Crooks was pleased to see the return of Danny Ings, as he said “It was great to see Danny Ings back in a Liverpool shirt and looking so effective.”

“Two years he spent recovering from injury and, from the look on his face, putting Liverpool 1-0 up must have felt like winning the lottery.

“Why Klopp took off the striker, I don’t know. Ings needs game time and was running Ahmed Hegazi ragged at the time.

“The West Brom central defender must have been delighted to see Ings substituted. Liverpool’s game started to fall apart the moment the striker left the field.”

In fact, this criticism is the most bizarre of them all. Ings played over an hour for only the second time since October 2015 and was taken off in the 66th minute, replaced by a capable alternative in Roberto Firmino.

Mohamed Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead after that point and it was almost a quarter of an hour before Jake Livermore halved the deficit. Whilst Ings may not have been on the field for the collapse, correlation does not equal causation and Liverpool taking their foot off the gas and poor defending were to blame, rather than a substitution.

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Championship

Conor Coady shows Liverpool what they’re missing in masterful Wolves campaign

The Wolves captain was tipped for big things at Liverpool but never made the grade.

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Back in 2011, Liverpool had one of their young starlets being tipped to become the ‘next Steven Gerrard.’ It was a tag being occasionally branded around the club about young talent Conor Coady. With good reason as well. The teenager was looking like the most natural successor to Gerrard yet.

The summer previous, he had helped England win the UEFA under-17 Championships, which is where the hype all began. Liverpool had unearthed a gem who immediately found himself tipped to become a future Kop captain.

But it never happened for the young man.

(Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

Instead, he headed to Sheffield United on loan – where he excelled. After getting a taste for regular football, the idea of returning to the reserve life with Liverpool clearly did not appeal to the utility man. Therefore, he left Liverpool in 2014, joining Huddersfield Town.

Liverpool fans soon forgot about him. Just another hyped up youngster who could not match the expectations laid at their door?

Well, this season Coady has finally looked like the real deal.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The Melwood talent did not stick with Huddersfield for long. In 2015 he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers and he is now looking like the talent Liverpool thought they had at Molineux.

One issue with Coady has always been his position. Often moved around the park, this season he has played as a settled central defender. The results have been exceptional. Coady has been one of the best players in the Championship this campaign. That was highlighted by his inclusion in the Championship team of the season. The 25-year-old is now looking like a future Premier League star and will be playing in the big time next season after captaining Wolves to the Championship summit.

When Liverpool sold Coady to Huddersfield, they did so for a fee reported to be just £500,000 by the Liverpool Echo. The Reds obviously felt he would not live up to those once lofty expectations.

Based on his form this season, Liverpool could be rueing this mistake in the not so distant future.

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