Ah, the wait is over. Liverpool have finally got themselves a new left-back, with Andrew Robertson putting pen to paper at Melwood on Friday to complete an £8million move – with the overall fee set to rise to £10million.
Having failed in their pursuit of Ryan Sessegnon and Benjamin Mendy, doubts arose over whether Liverpool would secure a left-back this summer and while Robertson may not have been their primary target, Jurgen Klopp clearly sees something in the Scotsman.
Spending three years at Hull City, Robertson has racked up plenty of experience, having made 102 appearances for the club – two of which were in England’s top flight. Thus, he won’t require the usual bedding in period to acclimatise to the physicality of the league.
He loves to maraud down the left-hand side of the pitch, hogging the touchline to provide a much-needed out ball at times. Likewise, Robertson has the attacking nous that the modern game demands from full-backs, blessed with pace and confidence in possession – all traits that would see him fit in well at Liverpool.
The 23-year-old’s ability to pick the ball up in space and carry it forward, gliding past two or three players in the process make him an exciting proposition for The Reds. Registering an average of 0.79 successful take-ons per ninety minutes, Robertson possesses the unpredictability that was distinctly lacking last year – whether that be taking on the opposition down the by-line or drifting into the central areas.
Welcome to Liverpool, Andy! 🔴
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 21, 2017
James Milner, while doing a commendable job in an unnatural position, became tiresome to watch in his one-dimensional approach. Venturing down the line before cutting inside and aimlessly crossing into the box, Liverpool became frustratingly easy to read down the left-hand side.
With Klopp looking to address the problems that arise against low-block teams, Robertson’s adventurous style could well turn out to be a shrewd asset.
Naturally, such an attack minded style can lead Robertson into sticky situations. Wrong-footed by his opponents, the 23-year-old can put unnecessary pressure on his defensive teammates in a similar, but less extreme, way to Alberto Moreno.
Will Jackson, a football writer who has followed Robertson closely admitted such weaknesses to his game. Via the Liverpool Echo, Jackson described the player as “fairly rash”, with a tendency to “dive into tackles”.
Nonetheless, it’s a part of his game Robertson has worked closely on since arriving at the KCOM, showing himself to be a very reliable and mature figure within Silva’s team.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 21, 2017
The good news is he’s got the pace to recover from said situations. Up against pacey wingers, James Milner looked flat footed, struggling to get back on the right side while Robertson has the energy and pace needed to stop counter-attacks before they pose a threat to Mignolet’s goal.
With Kevin Stewart going in opposite direction for £8million, Liverpool will have addressed one of the key weaknesses within their current squad in exchange for a player surplus to requirements – a great bit of business from Jurgen Klopp.
He may not be the left-back many had hoped for, nor will he really get the pulses racing in the way that potential deals for Naby Keita or Virgil van Dijk would, but it’s clear to see why Jurgen Klopp made a move for Andrew Robertson. An attacking fullback with good pace and energy to work the touchline, he could help to finally solve a problematic position for Liverpool.