Vomiting, Jordan Henderson’s “f*** off,” and how a defender who “nobody wanted” became a Liverpool star
Prior to Andy Robertson’s move to Liverpool, which was confirmed four years ago today, even Jurgen Klopp cheerfully declared that “nobody wanted” him.
The German made that somewhat scathing remark in the middle of a season in which the Scot added a Premier League title to the one he had won the year before in the Champions League.
However, he told beIN SPORTS about his initial impressions: “[He] was brilliant attacking, but nobody wanted him because his defending was not good.”
Liverpool’s recruitment department, who had initially prioritized alternative left-back targets in the summer of 2017, appeared to share this viewpoint.
They even spoke with Ryan Sessegnon’s agents before being scared off by claims that a move to Tottenham Hotspur would be more appealing to him.
Faouzi Ghoulam, Jetro Willems, and Benjamin Mendy were also mentioned, though the latter’s £50 million move from Monaco to Manchester City implies he was never a viable goal.
With more glamorous names having been linked in the past, it’s no surprise that Robertson’s eventual signing was met with skepticism.
“Robertson cannot defend nor attack,” as one popular fan site user put it. Robertson is slow, lacks aerial ability (which our defense urgently needs), can’t pass, and isn’t a decent attacking threat.”
Even from a fanbase that had seen Gini Wijnaldum triumph despite arriving from a relegated team the year before, harsh criticism was not hard to come by.
Arriving to such a welcome only added to Robertson’s importance of getting off to a good start with Liverpool’s coaching staff, but even that did not go as planned.
The defender had to leave his first pre-season lactate test – a jogging exercise used to assess a player’s fitness – because he had to vomit on the pitch.
Jordan Henderson was also not a fan at first.
“My first box, rondo, whatever you want to call it, Hendo told me to f*** off as soon as I walked in because I stepped in and it was supposed to be the two youngest players,” Robertson reflected.
“So I walked in, and he had no idea I was 22; he mistook me for 28! As a result, he says, “Summary ends.”