Andrew Robertson is arguably the best left-back in the world at the moment.
That is the case according to ESPN, at least, who rated him as their top choice in that position last term, and his stats back it up. Last season, he had 13 assists in all competitions – only Trent Alexander-Arnold had more for the Reds – and has looked to match those heights already this time around, with him already having picked up six assists this term.
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Behind him, though, Jurgen Klopp does not have many natural options. James Milner has replaced him when the Scotland international has not played this campaign, but that is far from the 33-year-old’s natural position. Yasser Larouci featured when the former Leeds United man came off injured against Everton in the FA Cup, but another man may have featured had it not been for his own injury issues.
Adam Lewis is an exciting prospect in the Liverpool academy. Formerly a midfielder, the 20-year-old’s transition to left-back in Liverpool’s development squads has been successful. The youngster is an attacking force – on the left of the back four, he has 14 assists in 48 matches according to Transfermarkt, including nine in 15 Premier League 2 matches during the 2017/18 campaign.
People in the know have been lining up to praise him. Former U18s coach Steven Gerrard, now Rangers manager, said: “Going forward, I haven’t seen anyone as good as him at that age, in terms of quality and what he can deliver in the final third.”
U23s coach Neil Critchley also spoke glowingly about Lewis, even comparing him to Alexander-Arnold. He explained: “I don’t think it harms him playing both left-back and midfield at the moment. He’s similar to Trent in that way.”
And former Liverpool player John Aldridge also had plenty of positive things to say about him. He eulogised: “Young Adam Lewis could be a contender to step into the team at left back. I would never want to put too much pressure on kids at a formative stage of their career, something would have to go very badly wrong for Lewis not to hit the big-time because he has all the raw materials to become a star.”
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That says it all. It is unfortunate that he is currently out of action, and there will be hope that this does not damage his development too much. In the long term, he could become Andrew Robertson’s successor – he certainly has the attributes to do so. As a Liverpudlian himself, he may just have what it takes to become a local hero.
In other news, Liverpool should move this in-form man on before it is too late.