Andrew Robertson suffered a muted start to life at Liverpool, behind Alberto Moreno in the pecking order, but has now fought his way to the forefront.
Robertson is now firmly cemented as the Reds’ first-choice left-back, but his first months on Merseyside were largely spent on the bench or even out of the squad.
From August to November he made three appearances, with another five games spent as an unused substitute, before taking up a regular berth in December due to Moreno’s ankle injury.
Just five outings into his first prolonged run in the side Robertson was subject to scathing criticism from Sky Sports’ Gary Neville.
Neville listed Robertson alongside Moreno and Ragnar Klavan in saying they “shouldn’t be playing here at this level at a club that is trying to win the league.”
The 24-year-old clearly proved Neville wrong, with the ex-England full-back admitting earlier this month that he “has done better than I ever imagined he would.”
Speaking to the Mail ahead of Scotland’s friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary this month, Robertson gave his take on the situation.
“Maybe he hadn’t seen me play enough. Maybe he just thought ‘it’s a signing from Hull’,” he said.
“I don’t know what his thought process was but it’s one man’s opinion. If he thought I wasn’t good enough, no problem.
“But these are the people I want to try to prove wrong. You want to make your fans and your family proud, but it’s the people who doubt you who motivate you more.
“I’m quite good at dealing with it. I was confident in my ability that if I could get a run of big games, I would build on it.”
This is exactly the type of mentality Robertson needed to take on moving from Hull to Liverpool in July, as arguably the most low-key signing of the Reds’ summer.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side paid just £8 million for the Scot, who is now routinely one of their most impressive performers, laying on his third assist of the season in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Watford.
Neville’s initial reservations were shared by some supporters on Robertson’s switch to Anfield, after leaving a relegated Hull side.
But, just as he did after being released from Celtic at youth level, the left-back has fought against perception and proved himself as the right option.
Now there will be few qualms with throwing Robertson in as Liverpool take on Man City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, or in title challenges moving forward.