Andy Robertson posing with the Premier League trophy with Alexander-Arnold

We are just five days away from the start of the 2021/2022 season and we continue to take a look at the strength of the Liverpool squad and judge their readiness for all the challenges that lie ahead in what promises to be another enthralling season. Where there are gaps, we will point out and suggest possible closures.

We will run through the left back options in the Liverpool squad and assess the strength of the department. We’ve already taken a look at the goalkeeping, right back and centre back departments and you can find those articles on this blog.

“I’m tired from just watching Andy Robertson run.”

There are two first team left backs in the squad; Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas, with youngster Owen Beck impressing with the youth side.

Andy Robertson

In the summer of 2017, Liverpool signed Robertson from relegated Hull City for £8 million. He made his debut in a 1–0 win over Crystal Palace, winning the Man of the Match award. He however wasn’t seen again for a few months after that, as the form of Alberto Moreno saw him cement the left back position as his own. Robertson bided his time and got a run of games when the Spaniard got injured in December.

His performance in the 4–3 victory against league leaders Manchester City in January earned praise from the Liverpool supporters and is remembered to this day for a run in particular, where he pressed the City team from his left back position all the way to a centre forward position. He continued to impress for the remainder of the season and even kept the spot upon Moreno’s return from injury.

The season unfortunately ended in heartbreak as Liverpool lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid in Kiev. Robertson scored a goal and provided five assists in 29 appearances in all competitions and was named in the Champions League Breakthrough XI. The following season, he set about establishing himself as the best left back in the world and was a cornerstone of the Liverpool team that won the Champions League in 2019.

He was rewarded for his performances with a new five year contract in January 2019. In April, he was named in the PFA Team of the Year and ended the season without scoring but provided an astonishing 13 assists and 75 chances created from 48 appearances. He became the first Scot to win the Champions League since Darren Fletcher in 2008 and was named in the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season as well as UEFA Team of the Season.

His meteoric rise continued into the 2019/20 season as well. He was again an ever present as Liverpool finally brought thirty years of pain to an end by winning the Premier League title, as well as the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. Over the course of the campaign, Robertson contributed 3 goals and 12 assists in 49 appearances for Liverpool as he was again named in the PFA Team of The Year.

Andy Robertson helping Van Dijk out with the armband

In the 2020/21 season, as injuries engulfed the defence line, Robertson was the mainstay and took on a leadership role as he started all 38 league games. The Scottish captain went through peaks and troughs with the whole team but made it out the other side as they finished third to secure Champions League qualification. A goal, seven assists and eighty five chances created from a total of fifty appearances in all competitions read his season statistics.

There was a lot made of Robertson’s minutes last season as most felt he was overused. His energetic style and relentless running means he needs to be saved from himself at times. Jurgen Klopp admitted he couldn’t afford to give Robbo much rest due to the myriad of centre back partnerships the club had to use. The plan is to rotate him a lot more this season, especially considering he had a busy summer as well with Scotland at the Euros.

A rotated Robertson is a fresh Robertson, and that can only mean one thing, more world class performances. Still only 27, he has more years ahead of him with rumours rife that the club want to tie him down to an even longer deal.

Kostas Tsimikas

Liverpool signed the Greek international almost a year ago to this day for reported fee of £11.75m. He became just the second Greek footballer to join Liverpool after Sotirios Kyrgiakos. He made his debut in the EFL Cup against Lincoln City in a 7–2 win but struggled for minutes thereafter, with a combination of injury and being overlooked meaning he didn’t make his Premier League debut until late against Manchester City in a 4–1 loss in January.

His next appearance after that came against Burnley in May. The whole season was a write off. This summer though, he has reported to pre-season and impressed in the friendlies, drawing praise from his manager. He looks in good shape and is already giving Klopp a selection headache for the season opener against Norwich. The 24 year old looks ready to make this season a better one than the last.

Jurgen Klopp showing his appreciation for Tsimikas’s performance

Owen Beck

The 18 year old was a virtual unknown till this summer when he linked up with the senior squad for the pre-season training camp. He impressed in games with his wicked delivery and exuberance. He got his big moment when he came on for the injured Andy Robertson in the friendly against Athletic Club, in front of a 40,000 strong Anfield crowd.

Famous for being the nephew of the great Ian Rush, he signed a new deal this summer to mark his progress. He will be looking to make his official debut this season. Of Andy Robertson should be out for a lengthy amount of time, that might be sooner than expected.

Left back is a position of strength for the Reds as they have two specialists. They are both young, and between the two of them, you’d expect the position to be well covered throughout a gruelling season. With young Beck also adding further depth to the department, James Milner’s days of playing left back are thankfully over.



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