Former Celtic striker John Hartson has claimed that Liverpool ace Andy Robertson is “on fire” at the moment, but has insisted that new Arsenal signing Kieran Tierney is a “better” defender than him.
The 25-year-old has been a standout player for the Reds in recent times, and while Hartson has acknowledged his contribution, he has also suggested that the Gunners’ latest addition is better at quelling danger.
As quoted in the Daily Record, he said: “People talk about Andy Robertson. I would say at this moment in time he has better delivery but Kieran is a better defensive player.
“Kieran gets low and defends well and he can also play as wing-back if needed. I watched Robertson when he was playing for Dundee United when I was covering the game and he was good.
“He went down to Hull and his career fizzled out there but Liverpool took him for £10m and now he is on fire.”
First of all, it’s probably important to point out that Hartson isn’t actually criticising Robertson here. He acknowledges how good the 25-year-old is openly, and he even suggests that he is the better of the two Scottish defenders in the attacking third. But even with the caveat that he is only discussing Robertson in a defensive sense, it seems strange to hint at any kind of weakness. So far this season, for example, Robertson has made 1.4 tackles per game, and has been dribbled past just 0.9 times per match too, as per Whoscored. He also has an overall match rating of 7.2, and all in all, these don’t feel like the stats of somebody who can’t pull his weight defensively. The other thing to note is that the modern full-back is a lot more than just a defender, and even if Tierney is better at preventing goals, you will struggle to find any left-back as adept at creating them as Robertson.