Liverpool Need to have Conversations Over Andy Robertson – Opinion

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Andy Robertson Should Drop into a Backup Role

Before delving into an article about the illustrious Scotland captain, I must proclaim that I adore the player and his tremendous contributions to Liverpool Football Club throughout his tenure. As a signing that cost a mere £7m (recouped fully by Kevin Stewart heading the other way) from Hull in the summer boss 2017, he is a tenacious player that went on to become one of the world’s most consistent and important left backs.

If ever there was an acolyte that defined the rock ‘n’ roll football endorsed by former manager, Jürgen Klopp, then it would be the 30-year-old who revelled within the system when his body and playing style suited the system of play. Unfortunately for the Premier league and Champions League winner, the hands of time wait for no sporting athlete and the new landscape under an altered leadership may now be a stretch too far for a player, that has run endlessly through 297 games of football in red.

Robertson’s New Role?

There is no doubt that as the new head coach, Arnie Slot will arrive at the AXA Training Centre, where certain individuals will need to immediately buy into what he is bringing to this historic club. There are clear leaders within the squad that would have been spoken to by the outgoing manager, encouraging a desire to ensure that they would drive the group forward in transition.

Photo: IMAGO

Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold are the captain and vice-captain on Merseyside right now, with both still operating at elite levels. Despite having only one year remaining on his contract (as the armband wearers), Andy Robertson is still an asset on both the pitch and the training ground. My hope is that an extension to his current deal can be engineered by the new Sporting Director, Richard, Hughes, and his own Sporting CEO, Michael Edwards.

When there was talk of Ruben Amorim coming to the club a few months back, that had me looking at potential replacements for Robbo, who could operate at left wingback with a 3-4-3 formation. I explored various names and potential targets until it became clear that the Sporting Lisbon manager had negotiated his way out of a move to Liverpool. As soon as the name of the incoming replacement came to the fore, it altered the suitability of viable targets. In a 4-2-3-1 formation (under Arne), there may well be more of a defensive outlook to the left back role, one that has seen the reds linked to a plethora of left sided defenders. In that circumstance, I can see Andy Robertson continuing as a rotation piece alongside a younger and more robust variant.

Liverpool’s Tsimikas Decision

In the second half of last season, Kostas Tsimikas clearly dropped away from the first team group, and I fully expect him to be sold on in the summer. There will be no shortage of takers for the charismatic Greek, who would receive many offers and perhaps demand a fee north of £20m. Though so many of the Anfield fanbase are desperate to see the legendary Scottish fallback remain as an every game starter, the mileage undertaken restricts an ability to continue to perform at the elite levels required. Within a lessening role, the strong leader could still perform an integral role for the group and I hope that as James Milner once did, he buys into that altered requirement, one that can extend his own Anfield career well into this new era.

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