The Robertson Void
The recent setback for Liverpool, with Andy Robertson set to be sidelined for a whopping three months, has thrown a spanner into Jurgen Klopp’s plans. The German manager finds himself in a predicament as he scours the depth of his squad for a worthy replacement.
Kostas Tsimikas, Liverpool’s second-choice left-back, was the apparent go-to. However, with Liverpool’s jam-packed fixture list looming – boasting a staggering 14 matches before we hit the Christmas festivities – relying solely on the 27-year-old is not a feasible strategy.
As Andy Jones in The Athletic insightfully points out, “In Robertson’s absence, three different players played at left-back during the 90 minutes against Everton on Saturday: Tsimikas started, Luis Diaz dropped in and Joe Gomez finished the game there.” While Tsimikas and Gomez are the primary choices, the younger blood, Luke Chambers (19) and Calum Scanlon (18), are also in the fray.
With significant fixtures in the Europa League and Carabao Cup on the horizon, the door has opened for these youngsters to prove their mettle. Klopp himself acknowledged the talent reservoir, stating, “You see the young kids really showing up, and that’s good. There’s a lot of talent in there.”
Luke Chambers: The Rising Star
Chambers’ journey, from making his senior debut against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup to being a consistent presence on the bench, showcases his determination. As per Jones and Evans in The Athletic, “Chambers made a strong impression during the 2022-23 pre-season. After winning the Under-19 European Championship with England… he was part of a squad that toured Thailand and Singapore and featured in warm-up games against Manchester United and Crystal Palace.”
His loan spell at Kilmarnock last season saw the young defender shine, with his style often compared to the very man he aims to replace – Robertson.
Calum Scanlon: The Young Prodigy
Scanlon’s entry into the football world began at Birmingham City, where he showcased his prowess from a young age. He’s described as a modern-day full-back, blending athleticism, energy, and pace.
As Andy Jones states, “Liverpool agreed a £500,000 deal for him in December 2020… At that time it was felt the defensive side of his game needed work.” Fast forward, and Scanlon has grown leaps and bounds, signing his first professional contract with Liverpool in the previous year.
The Road Ahead
The upcoming clash against Toulouse in the Europa League might present a golden chance for either Chambers or Scanlon to step into the spotlight.
In the wake of Robertson’s injury, Liverpool’s left-back conundrum remains an intriguing subplot. With seasoned players and promising youngsters in contention, it’ll be fascinating to see who seizes this golden opportunity.