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Is Andrew Robertson the best left back in the Premier League?

Friday 14th September 2018

In the dark clouds that was the 16/17 season for Hull City, Harry Maguire and Andrew Robertson were the silver linings, along with Marco Silva's ingenuity.

The club has gone downward since, but the aforementioned trio have only seen their personal stock rise. Maguire is a regular for the England national side, Silva is on his way to lead Everton into the top six while Robertson has gone on to become a top left back, among the very best in the Premier League.

2018/19 is the year of the left-back. Marcos Alonso can't stop scoring, Jose Holebas can't stop assisting, Benjamin Mendy has added an extra layer to champions Manchester City while Luke Shaw has revitalised his career. Robertson goes head-to-head with each of those, ticking all the boxes. Ever since his Liverpool debut on the opening day of last season against Crystal Palace, the Scot has shown that he can play to an elite standard.

But, the talent wasn't enough. 'Robbo' had to put in extra hours at Melwood to gain his place in the Liverpool starting XI, just like Fabinho is doing now. Alberto Moreno was in the form of his life, so it was hard for the ex-Hull City man to find a place on the team-sheet with regularity.

That wasn't a problem for Robertson. He was ready to be patient and wait for his chance. And because of his positive attitude, which may be his biggest strength, he broke into the Liverpool starting lineup in December; he hasn't looked backwards since.

Robertson is the kind of the guy that every dressing room needs. Title-winning teams are based around characters like these; who constantly put in the hard work, are consistent in their performances and follows the manager's instructions to the letter. He is the ideal professional.

The 24-year old is a true modern full back. He loves attacking and puts up numbers similar to Mendy or Alonso, even though the latter duo has extra license to push forward. Robertson is perhaps the most balanced left-back, remaining equally good in both attack and defence. Liverpool's £6.5million man has created 10 goalscoring chances in the Premier League this season, the most by any defender, registering two assists. He is known for making the clutch tackles and pouncing on 50-50's and drive forward. He also thrives in the one-on-one situation; an underrated trait.

In Jurgen Klopp's intense system, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah drift in. It is down to the full-backs to provide the width and provide the crosses. Even though Trent Alexander-Arnold puts in more crosses, Robertson thrives efficiency-wise. He, more often than not, finds Roberto Firmino in the box, as he did against Brighton and Leicester in consecutive games with two brilliant crosses. Just take a look at his assist for Mane in that Brighton game, it is a testament to Robertson's never give up attitude.

The young left-back is a major reason for Liverpool being the best defensive Premier League side in 2018. While Virgil Van Dijk gets praised for that, and rightly so, there is Robertson, putting in a shift, like always. He was named Scotland's captain in the International break, another milestone achieved by the ever-rising star.

Liverpool now goes on a very tough run of games, starting with a trip to Wembley. It is likely that the underrated Roberton once again holds the key to any success his team may have.

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Vedansh Nathani

Manchester United fan from India. Follows almost all sports - football and pro-wrestling in particular. Wayne Rooney, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho are some of his favourites.


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