The Scotland captain expects a tough season ahead but is aiming to replicate the feats of last term alongside a team-mate he considers world class
Liverpool’s Andy Robertson has lavished praise on team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold, hailing the fellow Champions League winner as the best right-back in the world.
The flying full-backs enjoyed a stellar season, racking up a club record 97 Premier League points only to lose out to eventual champions Manchester City.
Lifting European club football’s most prized trophy at the end of the campaign was a just reward for the Reds duo, however, with Robertson and Alexander-Arnold contributing a combined total of 29 assists throughout the season.
Taking time to compliment his partner in crime, the Scotland captain feels that there is no one better when it comes to the right-back position.
“Trent was outstanding all last season but he took it to another level at the end of it and became the best right-back in the world,” he told the Telegraph. “He almost became our main man in the last 10 games of the season.
“What was it [last season]? Mid to high-20s contributing goals [between us]? It is going to be hard to replicate it, but if we get close it helps the team.
“But the clean sheets were as important for us. As a pair, I felt our Champions League final performance was as mature a performance as we put in. Once we had the lead we were thinking, ‘clean sheet and we win the game’, and we did that.
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“Near the back end of the season we noticed the emphasis on trying to stop me and Trent doing what we try to do. It is up to us to adapt to that, but if someone is dedicating time to try and stop me and Trent, that is going to create a lot of space for other players.
“The quality we have got shows it is very difficult for anyone to focus on just one or two players. Someone else will pop up.”
Full-backs are becoming an increasingly important part of modern football’s tactics, with coaches such as Pep Guardiola famously splashing the cash to bring in the likes of Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo to successfully implement his game plan.
The latest big-money wide defender to be signed is Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who joined up with Manchester United this summer for a fee in the region of £50 million, and Robertson credits one Ashley Cole for playing his part in raising the profile of a once neglected position.
“Nowadays there seems to be a lot of big money being spent on full-backs. I am not sure if you would have seen that 10 years ago,” he said.
“The position has changed a lot. When I was growing up and watching football there were outstanding full-backs, but more as part of the back four, there to help keep the clean sheet and let the others do their job.
“Slowly but surely the role started to evolve, with Ashley Cole one of the main reasons for that – how he played for Arsenal and Chelsea.”