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Left Back Goes from Position of Weakness to Position of Strength for Liverpool

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A year ago, left back was a weak spot. Now, it’s a position of strength—and John Arne Riise is impressed.

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Liverpool v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Pointing out the depth Liverpool have at left back this season is nothing new, but it still bears repeating given how easy it is to forget that at this time a year ago the starting left back was a midfielder playing out of position and depth was a failed signing.

A year on, the failed signing has righted his career and, following an impressive autumn, is only backing up the position again due to the outstanding form of last summer’s new left back signing. That all of that is now old news doesn’t make it any less unexpected.

“I’ve been very impressed,” noted former left back John Arne Riise, back in town to take part in the weekend’s legends match against Bayern Munich, when asked about how things look this season at his old position at the club he spent seven seasons playing for.

“He’s young, aggressive, and fit,” Riise added about Andrew Robertson, the Scottish international who has gone from last summer’s bargain signing to seemingly nailed-on starter. “If he can stay healthy and focused, he has a big future as well.”

Riise, though, might be even more impressed by what he saw from Alberto Moreno in the autumn, last season’s out of favour and seemingly failed option at the position who himself looked to have the job secured in the autumn before an unfortunate injury struck.

“He worked really hard, kept himself fit, and I’m very happy for him as he was able to prove how good a player he is,” Riise said. “I’ve sent him some messages just to tell him how pleased he turned it around and that he must now continue working hard.”

Whether that hard work turns into another chance at the club this season or next or whether one of Liverpool’s left backs moves on in the summer given both have this season made a strong case for deserving starting minutes is hard to say right now.

Still, for however long the situation holds, it’s worth remembering what Liverpool’s depth at the position looked at this time a year ago—and appreciating the efforts and hard work of both Liverpool’s current left backs at turning it into a position of strength.