By 90Min
July 29, 2019

Alberto Moreno's departure to Villarreal earlier in the window has left the Liverpool short of a solid backup for Andy Robertson.

The Reds are just a long term Robertson injury away from finding themselves fielding James Milner, Joe Gomez or an uncapped youngster at left-back. Whilst these players are capable of filling the void, questions must be asked whether the European champions should be settling for unnatural replacements rather than investing in a natural backup. 

 

Despite the obvious need for a full-back signing this summer, it seems more than likely that Liverpool will be entering the season without such a signing. 

David Ramos/GettyImages

Should Liverpool find themselves in the disastrous situation where Andy Robertson is ruled out for a significant amount of time, the Reds have little backup for the Scotsman. 


It is thought that Klopp would turn towards veteran James Milner to replace Robertson, however, Milner is not a natural left-back. While he would be able to fill the gap, the midfielder doesn't have the speed or attacking output that Robertson possesses. 


Data comparing Milner's expected Expected Assists (xA) while at left-back shows his stint there was relatively uninspiring. Milner averaged just over four whereas Robertson is close to seven.  


Back in 2016/17, Milner found himself at left-back for almost the entirety of Liverpool's campaign. The veteran performed adequately but later admitted that he didn't enjoy the experience. 

OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Another option for Klopp would be utilising Joe Gomez, however, this would then leave Liverpool short at centre-back. Gomez, like Milner, is not a natural left-back. The youngster is most comfortable when playing centre-half and was incredibly impressive at the back last campaign when partnered with Virgil van Dijk. 


If Liverpool fielded Gomez as a left-back, the Reds would be relinquishing one of their best centre-back options. A top team such as Liverpool should have ample strength in depth to ensure that an injury in one position does not affect another. 


While Gomez is a great defender, he lacks the attacking threat needed to play left-back, the youngster rarely drives forward with the ball and wouldn't be able to match the attacking output that Robertson provides the Reds with. 

Borussia Dortmund v Liverpool - Pre-Season Friendly

A riskier alternative option for Klopp would be to put his faith in one of Liverpool's youngsters. Adam Lewis or Yasser Larouci could provide cover for Robertson, however, both of these are yet to make a competitive appearance for the Reds. 


The youngsters wouldn't be used to the pace and power of the Premier League, leaving them completely out of their depth. It would likely be too soon to introduce them into the first team regularly, clearing showing why Liverpool must sign an adequate backup. 


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