???️ Have Liverpool Solved Their Left Back Problem?

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One of the impressive things to come out of Liverpool’s game against Crystal Palace was the debut of Andrew Robertson at left back. Brought from Hull in the summer for £8 million, the Scottish left back has been a signing that has left a lot of Liverpool fans scratching their heads as to why we have brought a player who was part of a defence that got relegated last season?

However, Robertson’s performance versus Palace would have eased some fears that fans might have had about him, as the former Hull player looks very assured for his new club and in fact look like he had been Anfield for years.

Left back has been a problem position for Liverpool for the past 10 years, since John Arne Riise left in 2008 Liverpool have struggled to find a suitable replacement to play in the position and do a decent job and even though various players have tried, Riise was the last Liverpool player able to make that left back position his own. Since then we have had a number of issues with players trying to fill the void of that position.

First there was Fabio Aurelio, who as good as he was, was more fragile than a porcelain doll. The Brazilian seemed to be on the treatment table more than he was on the pitch and ended up being sold in 2012. Then there was Jose Enrique who again came with his own injury issues but apart from that he was never quite able to fit into the Liverpool team and at times his defending was much to be desired. Other players who have had a go at left back have included Paul Konchesky, who let’s face it didn’t exactly warm himself to the Liverpool faithful, Jon Flanagan and Alberto Moreno. Even though they have tried, all have failed for one reason or another.

So why should we think Andrew Robertson will be any different? Honestly it still might be too early to tell but from what I saw on against Crystal Palace the early signs are very encouraging. Robertson was able to get up and down the field very naturally against Palace, and what I mean by this is he was able to get forward and help with the attacking play, but when it came to it he didn’t just want to set up camp in the oppositions half, he also wanted to get back and do the dirty work, helping out the defence when needed, something which we have started to see from Moreno.

Robertson wasn’t tested a great deal defensively on Saturday so we will have to wait and see how that part of his game develops, but the fact that he wanted to get back is a good sign and his attacking play was very impressive especially in the first half. Personally what I liked about his performance was he wasn’t just going forward on the outside but he was able to use the inside left channel to get forward as well which gave the right side of Crystal Palace a real headache. He was constantly mixing it up going on the outside and on the inside of Bobby Firmino and still able to deliver quality balls into the box whether that was from the by line or a bit deeper. Arguably Robertson should have had at least one assist on Saturday especially in the first half, Matip and Mane miss absolute sitters and both of those chances were created by Robertson put in the ball in. His performance did drop off slightly in the second half but the fact that he was still able to get forwards and put crosses in is a sign of encouragement. Another thing I noticed on Saturday, and I think this could be the way forward is for Liverpool, was that every time Robertson went forward Milner would just slot in at left back just in case. Obviously we all know how comfortable Milner is in that position from a defensive point of view and last season it was only his attacking play that sometimes let him down, but with the system against Palace Liverpool kind of got the best of both worlds. They got Milner doing the defensive work at left back if Robinson was ever caught out position however we also got to see Robinson attacking talent from left back and I thought this worked really well.

It’s very early days in Robertson’s Liverpool career to make a judgement of how good a left back he will be at the club and whether he’ll be able to make that position he is own, after all if you look at Moreno’s first couple of games at Liverpool we were all waxing lyrical about him and look how that turned out. However, the signs are very encouraging so far and I think moving forward Robertson could have a big part to play for Liverpool this season.

  Imraan Adam @imadam786
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