Player Zone: Andrew Robertson has overcome adversity to become a star at Liverpool

Liverpool’s first-choice left-back, captain of the Scotland national team and a Champions League finalist, but it hasn’t always been this easy for Andrew Robertson. Released by Celtic as a 15-year-old, the energetic full-back ended up at Queens Park, where Gardner Speirs, who now oversees the academy at the Tartan Army’s Hampton Park, was taken aback by a teenage Robertson.

“We were due to go down to Largs on the Clyde coast to play a couple of matches inside four days but we didn’t have a left-back,” Speirs said. “Andrew was just finishing a season with the under-17s, so we took him and that’s how it happened.

“Andy’s response was to say, ‘I’ll prove you wrong.’ He played in the first warm-up game at Largs and I don’t think he went out of the team again until he left us.”

It is this attitude that has endeared him to the Liverpool supporters after some had written him off before his career on Merseyside had even begun.

Some of the Anfield faithful wanted a marquee name, but in truth, almost anyone would’ve been an upgrade on Alberto Moreno, so Robertson had a chance to make the left-back position his own.

But Robertson would’ve been somewhat of a hit even if he never set foot on the hallowed turf of Anfield, as a result of his selfless charity work and commitment to the community around him – that is an ethos that Liverpool hold dear to them, and one that Robertson does too.

“He might be from Glasgow originally, but everything about him screams Liverpool”, said Jurgen Klopp, and luckily for the German and those associated with the club who aren’t as interested about his work off the pitch, the Scottish international is one hell of a footballer to boot.

Robertson currently has eight assists in all competitions, more than any other defender in Europe, and that tiny initial £8m spent on him back in the summer of 2017 is looking like small change – it could even be argued that the 24-year-old is probably worth five times that figure now if not more.

His relentless play up and down that left flank is hard not to cheer on, even if you aren’t a Liverpool fan.

One foray up the left flank and over to the right wing saw Robertson mount a one-man press against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the 4-3 win at Anfield last season, a moment which drew cheers similar to those heard after a goal and almost saw the Reds score, but for the referee’s intervention.

“I am still tired just looking at Robertson. He makes 100-metre sprints every minute, absolutely incredible, and these are qualities,” said Jose Mourinho after his Manchester United side were humbled by three goals to one earlier in the season – Mourinho didn’t get much right during his time with the Red Devils, but that statement is spot on.

The scary thing about Robertson is that he has time on his side, time that he doesn’t even need given just how phenomenal he is right now. If there is an improved version of the hungry Scot waiting for us in the future, opposition forwards might as well not bother.