The fullback revolution

The Liverpool fanbase are currently crying out in frustration at the lack of transfer activity by the club this season and it’s no different at the nest so I thought I’d try and lighten the mood by taking a look at two players that defy the modern fan’s lust for ‘marquee’ signings - our glorious fullbacks Trent Alexander-Arnold and An-deity, erm I mean Andy Robertson.

Transfer fees

Arguably... no wait, actually there’s no argument to be made. We have the two finest fullbacks in world football bar none. City shelled out over £100 million to bring Walker, Mendy and Danilo to the club so look away now Pep, as Trent and Robbo cost LFC a combined total of £8 million.

Trent is a well documented product of the academy and local lad living the dream. Robbo arrived to little fanfare as an £8 million pound signing from relegated Hull, with Kevin Stewart going the other way for similar money in something of a swap deal. How’s that for a bit of transfer business? Now make no mistake, I’m Robbo’s biggest fan. I doubt his mum loves him as much as I do but I must admit I was as underwhelmed as many others by the signing, despite the fact all my Dundee United supporting mates were banging on to me about how good he was. I lost all interest in Scotland's domestic game a long time ago and so hadn’t seen Robbo playing for Dundee United but I paid little heed. Many players perform well in Scotland but get found out when moving down south and considering his team had just been relegated, I didn’t have too much expectation that Robbo would be the answer to our long standing left back problem. I’ve never been happier to say, how wrong I was.

Robbo hasn’t just solved our left back conundrum, he’s upped the bar of what is now expected of a left back and is currently the benchmark in his position. Even Mourinho famously said he was ‘tired just to look at this kid’. That kid totally dominates our left flank, both offensively and defensively and alongside Van Dijk, has seen most teams actively target our right flank for their attacks. It’s going forward though, that he and Trent are tearing up the rulebook.

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The stats

In 2018/19, Trent and Robbo finished the season as our top two in terms of assists recorded, along with Salah who was tied with Robbo. Robbo equalled the Premier League record for assists from a defender (11) and a 20 year old Trent set a new record with 13. That’s 24 assists in the Premier League from our fullbacks. In all competitions, Trent chipped in with a whopping 16 assists in all competitions and Robbo weighed in with 13. That’s one shy of THIRTY assists for our fullbacks last season, a truly astonishing number and how’s this for a stat - Our fullbacks had more assists between them than 38 entire clubs managed across Europe’s top five leagues - The Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, The Bundesliga and Ligue 1... Just our fullbacks!

Style of play

Such is their consistent, superb quality (especially Robbo regards consistency), our fullbacks have become the primary creators in our squad, with Klopp favouring a functional, hard working midfield over flare players in the middle of the park, allowing our fullbacks the freedom to bomb forward at will and cause teams no end of problems with their exceptional delivery. I believe this style of play is pretty much unique to Liverpool at the moment - as Ilija once put it ‘A different way of playing football’

The problem is, their brilliance has been such that we’ve become very reliant on them as a team and should one pick up a significant injury, it could well spell trouble for the club. We have others - namely Gomez and Milner, who can do a respectable job as back up but are far off the marauding, crossing machines that Trent and Robbo are. Such is their brilliance however, that any potential new arrival in either fullback position, knows their game time will be massively limited, which makes bringing in quality quite difficult... Dani Alves anyone? ;-)

Anyway troops, that’s all for today. Hopefully, as the tumbleweed rolls on for another week on the transfer news front, this will serve as a reminder to us all that not all brilliance comes with a massive price tag. £8 million 2 years ago = priceless today. YNWA
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