In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.
With midfielder James Milner often preferred at left-back to Alberto Moreno in the 2016/17 season for Liverpool, despite the latter having that as his natural position, it should not have come as any surprise that this was an area targeted by Jurgen Klopp in the summer of 2017.
Having purchased Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle a year previously following the Magpies’ relegation from the Premier League, as per BBC, the Reds again trawled through the ranks of relegated teams in 2017 for potential gems and plundered one from Hull City.
Andrew Robertson had featured in two top-flight campaigns for the Tigers either side of helping them to promotion in 2016 and had been involved in Hull’s win over Liverpool in February 2017, his performance that day amid 56 other Premier League appearances convincing Klopp to sign him for an initial £8m, possibly rising to £10m, as reported by BBC.
Despite his arrival and despite concerns over the performances of Moreno – most notoriously in the 2016 Europa League final, after which Jamie Carragher posted an X-rated tweet begging for a replacement – the ex-Hull man initially had to be content with playing backup to the Spaniard.
Robertson started only two of Liverpool’s first 14 Premier League games in his first season at Anfield and did not play in any of their Champions League group matches, but after Moreno picked up an ankle injury midway through that season, Robertson got his break in the side and has never looked back.
He ended the campaign as a Champions League finalist, only five years after playing in Scottish League One for Queen’s Park, and scored on the final day of the league season as Liverpool ensured a top four finish.
In contrast to the hapless Moreno, Robertson was widely lauded by pundits for his consistent displays at Anfield. Two former Everton players spoke highly of him, with Kevin Kilbane dubbing him the best left-back in the Premier League [via Liverpool Echo] and Phil Neville going even further by saying the Scottish international was the best in that position in the world [via The Scotsman].
Robertson played in all but two Premier League games for Liverpool last season and recorded 11 assists, the fifth most of any player in the division, as well as being named in the PFA Team of the Year.
He also chipped in with two assists in the Reds’ triumphant Champions League campaign, and while his goals tally pales in comparison to his provision of assists, his determination to get forward was rewarded with the finishing touch to a slick team move in Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Red Bull Salzburg last week, his second goal for the club.
From being relegated with Hull and signing for less than £10m to playing in two Champions League finals in just a couple of years and setting up goals aplenty, Robertson has had a seismic impact at Liverpool and brought calming assurance to a left-back position that had been so problematic for the Reds prior to his arrival.
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Liverpool fans, would you agree that Robertson’s arrival shook the club in a significant way? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!