Over the past year, Liverpool have spent £150 million in the transfer market. £37.8 million of that went on Mohamed Salah last summer, luring the Egyptian winger from Roma. £34.2 million was wired to Arsenal for the signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with £71 million paid to Southampton for Virgil Van Dijk in January. Not much attention was paid to the £8 million spent on Andy Robertson.
The Scottish left back arrived at Anfield without much fanfare. He had impressed in the Premier League for Hull City the season before, but Robertson wasn’t a marquee signing. Most agreed that he was a shrewd signing, but he wasn’t categorised in the same way the signing of Salah was, and the signing of Van Dijk following that.
Since then, Robertson has become a key figure for Jurgen Klopp’s side. The Scot had to earn his place, with Alberto Moreno picked ahead of him for the early part of the season. Now, it’s difficult to envisage how Liverpool could possibly have overlooked Robertson at left back.
Robertson is in the form of his life. Many consider him to currently be the best left back in the Premier League, and at £8 million his signing last summer undoubtedly goes down as the bargain of the 2017/18 season. Now, he would cost about five times, at least, that. Liverpool played the market and won.
While Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have grabbed the headlines this season, and rightly so, they wouldn’t have reached such heights over the past few months without Robertson proving them with a supply line down the left side. The Scot has given Liverpool another attacking outlet. Sometimes, he is the fourth member of their attacking line, such is his natural attacking ambition.
In his first season at Liverpool, Robertson has sparked up a relationship with Firmino and Salah in particular. The 24-year-old has made a habit of bursting down the left wing and crossing for the back post, where he invariably finds the run of a teammate in red. It’s now muscle memory for the former Dundee United and Queen’s Park player.
Crossing might be the biggest strength of Robertson’s game. His deliveries are consistently wicked, more often than not pinpointed to find the run of a teammate. The Scot has gone a long way to solve some of the defensive issues Liverpool endured earlier in the season, but he has also become an integral component of their attack.
In many ways, Robertson embodies all that is good about Klopp’s team. In years gone by Liverpool faced criticism for their scouting, but the system worked in the identification of Robertson as a target. Robertson is young and dynamic and has grown as a player since making the move to Merseyside. He sets a precedent for others to follow. If Liverpool go on to win this season’s Champions League, Robertson will have been a key part of that success.
How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best European Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasy-champions-league.com now.