Has Andrew Robertson cemented his place as Liverpool's first-choice left-back?

Has Andrew Robertson cemented his place as Liverpool's first-choice left-back?

At Anfield on Friday evening all eyes were focused on Virgil van Djke during the impromptu Merseyside derby in the third round of the FA cup.

The Dutch central defender was making his first appearance since signing for Liverpool at the start of the January transfer window, a move that has attracted considerable interest across the footballing world due to the £75 million fee.

The 26-year-old impressed on his full debut, producing an assured performance at the heart of The Reds’ defence, and ensured that his name would be in all of the headlines on Saturday morning by heading in the winning goal late in the second-half.

Whilst van Dijk will rightly receive the plaudits for his start to life at Anfield one of his new team mates made an equally impressive contribution to Friday’s FA Cup victory.

Andrew Robertson has been Liverpool’s forgotten man for much of the campaign having struggled to break into Jurgen Klopp’s starting eleven after signing from relegated Hull City in the summer.

However, the Scottish left-back has found himself playing an increasingly prominent role in recent months and his solid all-round performance on Friday evening suggests that he is beginning to fulfil his potential.

Frustration, patience and taking his opportunity

Andrew Robertson arrived at Anfield in the summer from relegated Hull City for an initial fee of £8 million that could eventually rise up to £10 million with add-ons.

He had a reputation for being a dynamic, attack-minded full-back who is equally effective at both ends of the pitch and he was earmarked as one of the few bright sparks despite The Tigers’ ultimate relegation to The Championship.

However, he initially struggled to break into the Jurgen Klopp’s side and he was forced to spend much of the early-season period watching on as a substitute from the bench.

Prior to November, the 23-year-old had made more appearances for Scotland than he had for his club side and this was mainly due to the significant improvement in Alberto Moreno’s performances.

The Spaniard had cemented his place as Liverpool’s first choice left-back due to his impressive form, to such an extent that he was recalled to the national team for the first time since 2014, leaving Robertson having to be content with being little more than a bit-part player.

Things can alter rapidly in football and in mid-December Moreno limped out of Liverpool’s seven-goal victory against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League with an ankle injury that was estimated to keep him out of action for at least six weeks.

The door had suddenly been opened for Robertson to stake a claim for a first team spot and he has certainly taken his opportunity.

The Scottish international has featured in eight of Liverpool’s last ten fixtures across all competitions and continues to grow in confidence with each appearance that he makes.

He has looked calm, composed and efficient when in possession whilst the dynamic forward runs that he was renowned for whilst at Hull have once again begun to emerge. However, he is equally as effective in defensive scenarios and he possesses a robustness and solidarity in the way that he undertakes his defensive responsibilities that Moreno arguably lacks.

Liverpool have not had a top-quality, consistent left-back on their books since John Arne Riise almost a decade ago, to such an extent that James Milner was shoe-horned into the role by Klopp for much of last season.

However, in Robertson they now have a player that has the potential to make the position his own for the foreseeable future and, at 23 years of age, he is only going to improve with time.

Virgil van Dijk may be the focus on attention at Anfield at the moment, but Andrew Robertson’s emergence may prove to be equally as important to Liverpool’s success as the campaign progresses.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

You may also like…