Looking back, it’s crazy to think about how Andy Robertson came to Liverpool as a backup leftback, and was being kept out of the squad by Alberto Moreno.
Robertson had to wait several months to get a real chance to take the spot away from his Spanish teammate, and the wait might have been longer were it not for an injury. And boy, did he ever take it. Nearly 100 league appearances and 4 major trophies later, it’s hard to imagine this side without the Scot tearing down the sideline.
Now, with the addition of Kostas Tsimikas, the shoe is on the other foot.
“Look, we’ve all been there,” Robbo said to the club’s official website, “we all know how daunting it is walking into a new changing room and not knowing anyone and things like that, but I think we all know how that feels and we’re all very cautious of that so we try to make people feel as welcome as they can and as quickly as they can because the quicker you get the person out of his shell, the quicker you get the player out of his shell.
“I’ve seen him in training and he looks a really good player. I can’t say I saw much of him playing for Olympiacos and things like that but it’s up to the club and they’ve obviously seen something there that can improve the squad and I’ve got no doubt he will do.”
Of course improving the squad is not always the same as improving the starting XI. Liverpool are currently blessed to have 5-6 players that are arguably the best in the world at their position. That impressive list includes Robertson at leftback. Taking the shirt of Robbo won’t be nearly as easy as taking the shirt off Albi.
“For me personally, he’s obviously in my position and I want to stay the number one left-back,” Robbo continued.
“I want to play as many games as I can, to stay fit, to keep my levels high and I want to be playing every game. I know that’s not always possible but that’s my attitude going into it and it’s up to me to keep putting in performances and hopefully stay number one left-back.
“That’s my aim [and] I’m sure he has similar aims but we need competition all over the park.”
Regardless of whether Tsimikas is, or can be, as good as Robbo, the squad needed quality cover for the position. Injuries happen, and this season’s packed schedule will mean that Klopp will have to be able to rotate in order to maintain fitness throughout the squad.
We all love Robbo, but hopefully Tsimikas challenges him to become even better.