It has been reported in recent days that Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Hull City left-back Andrew Robertson. The Scottish international is approaching the final year of his contract at the KCOM Stadium and the Reds are believed to be taking advantage of that to bring him to Anfield. The Mirror report that the move will be announced when the transfer window opens and that he will be the first summer signing made by Jurgen Klopp. It may not be the most exciting signing, but they have been forced to field James Milner as a makeshift left-back this season and Robertson would certainly be an upgrade on that.
Style of play
The Hull City full-back is attack-minded and is full of energy, which will make him a suitable candidate for a Jurgen Klopp side. His work rate has been evident throughout this season as he has continued to offer an option down the left wing in a struggling team, while his defensive work has improved since his first season in the Premier League two years ago. Robertson has improved his physicality since joining Hull and is now adept at dealing with the toughness of the English game. His decision making is one of his best assets as he knows when to go forwards and when to stay back. This has been especially important in a side fighting relegation, but if he does move to Liverpool, he will have more license to attack and that will suit him. When he does attack, he is capable of underlapping and overlapping the midfielder ahead of him, which makes him difficult to predict in the final third.
During this season, he has only contributed one goal and two assists, but he is playing in a team at the bottom of the table, therefore he has fewer chances to make things happen in the final third. In comparison, James Milner has contributed seven goals and three assists. It is worth noting that the current Liverpool left-back does take penalties, so his goal tally is enhanced by that. Robinson creates an average of 0.65 chances per ninety minutes, which is less than Milner (1.61). However, the latter takes set pieces and is playing in a better calibre of team. It is the pass completion rate that is interesting as Robertson (76%) is only slightly lower than Milner (79%) and this could be one of the reasons Klopp is targeting the Scotsman. He is reliable in possession and a good distributor of the ball, despite playing in a relegated team. At times this season, Milner has been loose in possession and his decision making has been poor as he doesn’t have the experience at left-back.
In defence, Roberton has averaged 1.23 tackles won, 1.98 interceptions and 3.04 clearances every ninety minutes, showing his consistency at the back. This is comparable to Milner, who has averaged 1,76 tackles won, 1.23 interceptions and 3.75 clearances. Klopp wants his teams to press and good readers of the game, allowing them to pinch the ball in the opposition’s transition phase and counter with pace. Although Milner has been a solid left-back, he is better at winning the ball back through a tackle rather than intercepting. As a more mobile player with better anticipation, Robertson could be more suited to the style that is being coached by Klopp.
Would he be a good signing?
It would be a risk for Liverpool to sign Andrew Robertson and use him as a first choice left-back, but there is reason to believe he could succeed at Anfield. He is a modern day full-back with the attributed to thrive in a Jurgen Klopp system. At the age of 23, he is still developing and the German could mould him into the player that he needs for his Liverpool team. There are few top full-backs in the world at the moment, therefore a move for somebody like Robertson makes sense. He would cost relatively little considering Hull’s relegation and his contract situation, while he has the potential to be a great left-back if coached correctly.