Liverpool star Andy Robertson has taken the time to praise former Dundee United teammate John Rankin for his contribution to his career.
The Reds full-back is currently out in Doha as the Anfield side gear up for the Club World Cup. Whilst over in Qatar, the Scotland captain will face teams from all over the world.
In an interview with the Daily Record (page 47, 18/12/19), Robertson took time away from the glitz and glamour to cast his mind back to the Dundee United days. He says that experienced men like Rankin helped shape him as a player.
He said: “I’ve got world-class players around me and if they tell me something, or the manager tells me something, I’ll take it on board. But I’ve always been like that and at Dundee United the likes of John Rankin was massive for me because he effectively talked me through games in my first three months.
“A lot of people said I was always attacking at United but I couldn’t have done that if John wasn’t covering the left-back position! Maybe he didn’t get the credit he deserved but I certainly appreciated his advice and I am the player I am now because of people like John.
“I would say to myself, ‘They think I need to do this so I’ll show them in the next game’ and I’ve always respected players’ opinions. I probably get a lot more.”
Strength to strength since
We all know the story of Robertson by now. Finding himself at Queen’s Park, the Scots captain has risen up the footballing ladder in heroic fashion. His step up after his Spiders stint was United.
That obviously had a big impact on him. Robertson will have experienced a big change in quality going from amateur to professional football at such a big club. Players like Rankin have obviously been instrumental in smoothing that process.
After his grounding at Tannadice he moved to Hull City before his blockbuster move to Liverpool. The rest as they say, is history.
He’s come across some of the best in football, but the guidance from current Hearts youth coach Rankin seems to have ranked amongst some of the best.