If you were to read the latest Liverpool match breakdown, the chances are that the name of Andrew Robertson would not figure very prominently in it. The £8 million summer signing from Hull City has not had the best of starts to his Anfield career to say the least, and supporters are as bewildered now at Robertson’s signing as they were when the signing was first announced in July.
So far, the twenty-three year old has figured in Liverpool’s staring XI just three times – twice in the EPL and once in the EFl Cup. He’s actually seen more action for his home nation of Scotland this season (four caps to bring his total to nineteen) than his domestic club. With a much-improved Alberto Moreno being the regular starting left-back for the reds, and with James Milner available as an experienced back up, Robertson’s path to the ‘number three’ shirt is not one that’s going to be concluded any time soon, or so it seems.
Robertson is not even Scotland’s best left back (that honour goes to Celtic’s ‘Wunderkid’ Kieran Tierney – when Robertson plays for Scotland it’s usually in the centre of defence) and Scotland are hardly the international giants they were in the days of Dalglish and Souness, so it’s still a puzzle as to why Jurgen Klopp thought it a good move to bring the ex-Hull City man to the club.
For Robertson, it seems his non-inclusion in match day squads is not too difficult to understand. It’s a two—pronged reason – firstly, and simply, Alberto Moreno is just playing far too effectively to be dropped. Secondly, Jurgen Klopp does not like ‘wasting’ a place on the substitutes bench with a specialist left back. Klopp’s bench is usually full of players who either have the ability to change a games or, like Milner, can play in a variety of positions. This may not perhaps explain why Robertson is left in the stands when he can play in the centre of defence as well, as he does for his national team.
If anything, Robertson has been unlucky. Nobody expected Alberto Moreno to become the first choice left-back for Liverpool this season – in fact most people, after the Spaniard’s lacklustre 2016-17 season, expected the ex-Seville man to be shown the Anfield door during the summer. After a decent pre-season Moreno was given the nod at left-back for the season’s opener at Watford, and although Robertson was selected in the next EPL game, Moreno’s form has been such that it’s been impossible for Klopp to even rest him, including in the UCL.
At least Robertson has time on his side. He is still only twenty-three, while Moreno is twenty-five and Milner thirty-one. Maybe the Scot will get his chance in the Liverpool side eventually and grab it with both hands. Otherwise, Robertson will be added to the list of ‘forgotten’ Liverpool signings, joining names such as Jean Michel Ferri, Nuri Sahin and current Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino.