This article is part of Football League World’s ‘FLW Greats’ series, this content strand is where we look back at a player’s individual season and discuss how impressive they were…
Andy Robertson is currently a European champion as he helped Liverpool lift the UEFA Champions League in Madrid last year, but he first made his mark on the English game with Hull City in the Championship.
The current Scottish captain turned up at Hull back in 2014, arriving from Dundee United, but nobody knew what impact that he would go on to have in the English game. Although Robertson could not prevent the Tigers slipping out of the Premier League in his first season at the KCOM Stadium, he put in enough positive performances to encourage fans that they would be able to bounce straight back into the top-flight.
They did exactly that during the 2015/2016 with Robertson really standing out as one of the key men that would go on to see Hull City win the Championship play-offs with victory over fellow Yorkshire side Sheffield Wednesday in the final. Most people will know Robertson today for his ability to bomb forward in Jurgen Klopp’s high press system with the Scot and Trent Alexander-Arnold forming a formidable partnership as wing-backs, but Robertson was doing a very similar job during Hull’s promotion season.
Steve Bruce played Robertson in a more traditional full-back role during the 2015/2016, not the forward-thinking defender that he is used being nowadays but that didn’t stop him from registering five assists in the Championship during Hull’s promotion winning season. The wing-back role had not even been thought about but Robertson was already turning himself into the perfect candidate to play it in future years.
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One game that will instantly come to the mind of Hull City supporters when mentioning the Scottish full-back would be Hull’s play-off semi final victory over Derby County, most specifically the first leg demolition at Pride Park. The Tigers stormed into a 3-0 lead in the first leg with Robertson scoring the goal that would turn out to be the winner. His low strike from outside the box put the Tigers in control of the tie, but they came close to squandering their lead as Derby would fight back to win 2-0 in the second leg.
The quality that people see every week when Robertson plays for Liverpool is his unbelievable stamina, he somehow manages to find enough energy to bomb up and down the Anfield touchline numerous times during the course of a game. The Scot had that trait during his time with the Tigers as he was so important to Steve Bruce at both ends of the pitch. He would provide an extra threat going forwards, forcing opposing wingers to have to track back and make their attack slightly weaker. But when the ball was going the other way, he was able to quickly recover and force his opponent into making a mistake.
Robertson would go on to have another fine season in 2016/2017 but his individual excellence could not save Hull from another relegation out of the Premier League. This time his abilities were noticed by other clubs who came after the full-back in the summer but it would be Liverpool that would win the race to sign the Scottish international, a move that has given him the platform to improve even further from his days with Hull City.