Andy Robertson is now indisputably the best left back in the Premier League but his start to his Liverpool career was not quite as impressive.
Jumping up from relegated Hull was a tough transition for the Scottish international, at a time when the Reds were making huge strides themselves.
According to the Players’ Tribune, Robertson lifted the lid on his struggles and how he turned it around: “I had to go to Melwood to do a lactate test. After a few laps, I felt something going on with my stomach. A few minutes later, I’m on my knees, puking my guts out on the Melwood pitch.
“If first appearances count, God knows what they thought about me. The next day, I met the manager and I heard his laugh from a mile away. He’d obviously heard about my test. I turn around and he’s walking toward me, rubbing his belly and pointing at me.”
But he also explained how he turned it around after not playing much initially: “The system we play is so complex, I was working so hard to understand what the manager wanted from his fullbacks. My belief in myself started to dip. [Klopp] was just waiting for me to get it — to feel like a Liverpool player and have that confidence.”
Robertson is no fairy tale, as it is sometimes portrayed. He got to Liverpool by working as hard as he possibly could and that’s why there is no better left back in world football right now.
The tale about his awful first impression is a funny tale but someone of his mental strength was always going to recover well – and he fully deserves to be back in his second consecutive Champions League final.