Andy Robertson 2017/18 Season Review: Liverpool’s left-back problem finally solved

Andy Robertson has been one of the signings of the season in the Premier League and has finally solved Liverpool’s left-back problem.


The 24-year-old came in from relegated Hull City and was one of the club’s standout performers during the 2017/18 season.

Robertson’s consistency is highlighted by the fact he was This is Anfield’s player of the season, ahead of Mohamed Salah, based on the player ratings average across the campaign.

While Salah has rightly taken the headlines, the goals and the awards, the Scottish left-back has gone about his business with minimal fuss and maximum application.

He formed a partnership with Sadio Mane down the left flank which became one of Liverpool’s best outlets towards the end of the season.

Both played a part in the run to the Champions League final, stretching the play which created room for Salah from the opposite flank.

Andy Robertson, 2017/18

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2017: Liverpool's Andy Robertson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Started: 30 (All competitions)
On as a substitute: 0
Unused sub: 8
Goals: 1
Assists: 5
Average TIA Player Rating: 7.35 (Rank = 1st!)

 

Signing of the Season

Robertson was effectively a free transfer. He arrived at Anfield from Hull for a measly £8 million, with Kevin Stewart going the other way for almost the same amount.

It was a swap deal in all but name, and little was expected of the left-back on arrival. It was thought that he would be back up to either Alberto Moreno, James Milner, or another new signing.

Moreno enjoyed a bright start to the season, and was himself one of the more consistent players at the start of the campaign along with Mane.

But just as the Spaniard looked to have finally found some form at the club, he picked up an ankle injury in December and was replaced in the side by Robertson.

Prior to this chance, Robertson had looked effective, if a little green, in the couple of games he had started and appeared to be adapting to Jurgen Klopp’s methods.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 14, 2018: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with Andy Robertson after his side's 4-3 victory during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But what better way to adapt than to be thrown into the first team on a permanent basis?

He was performing his job as backup left-back admirably, and it soon became apparent that Liverpool had a special player on their hands.

He wasn’t considered backup for much longer.

The moment at home to Man City, when he pressed so high upfield that he ended up in the opposite corner of the pitch, was part of a Man of the Match display, and epitomised his mentality.

With each passing game he endeared himself more and more to the Anfield faithful, and it wasn’t long before he had his own song and even a banner bearing his name in the Kop.

He was in many pundits’ team of the season at left-back, and even if Liverpool signed a £50m left-back this summer to provide competition, they would remain backup to the £8m Scot.

 

A Leader Emerges

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 10, 2018: Liverpool's captain James Milner (left) and Andy Robertson (right) celebrates after the 2-1 (5-1 aggregate) victory over Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Along with Virgil van Dijk, Robertson has shored up the left side of Liverpool’s defence both mentally and technically.

He provides a potent attacking threat, too, and was unlucky not to have even more assists to his name come the end of the season.

Importantly, he also has the engine to track back and perform his defensive duties when needed, and has been a difficult obstacle for all types of opposition attacker to overcome.

Robertson has become a member of a back four who are all leaders and strong characters in their own way. Local boy Trent, the determined and confident Dejan Lovren, bona fide captain Van Dijk…and the fearless, flying Scotsman.

He has emerged as one of the side’s biggest characters on and off the pitch, regularly taking part in the club’s community work, and putting himself up for press conferences and interviews.

 

Improvements & Future Role

KIEV, UKRAINE - Saturday, May 26, 2018: Liverpool's Andy Robertson looks dejected after the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at the NSC Olimpiyskiy. Real Madrid won 3-1. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

His goal in the final game of the season had been coming, and given the attacking positions he finds himself in down the left it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect more next season.

Four of his five assists came in the last three months of the season, and had a few more of the chances he created been converted he could have reached double figures.

This is a possibility next season if he’s in the side from day one, and he could be one of the best around once his numbers begin to reflect his general play.


Best Moment: We all thought it was going to be the time he closed down the entire Man City team in one sprint up the field, but then he performed that tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final.

His goal in the final league game is also worth a shout.

Worst Moment: None on the pitch, but being made to wait to become a regular was frustrating.

Role next season: Starting left-back. Chief assist maker.

 

2017/18 player-by-player reviews

ROME, ITALY - Wednesday, May 2, 2018: Liverpool's players line-up for a team group photograph before the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between AS Roma and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Olimpico. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Karius | Lovren | Van Dijk | Matip | Gomez | Alexander-Arnold | Robertson | Henderson | Milner | Oxlade-Chamberlain | Firmino | Salah

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