Football News

Stats prove Liverpool’s Andy Robertson is the Premier League’s ‘most prolific’ ball carrier

By Chris Smith

Published: 16:59, 25 November 2019

When Liverpool signed Andy Robertson from Hull City for a mere £8m in 2017, few could have foreseen just how much of an impact he would go on to have at Anfield.

The Scotland international suffered two relegations with the Tigers and although he admittedly couldn’t be blamed for those failures, they did make his transfer to Merseyside that much more underwhelming.

But Robertson has gone on to become a key member of Jurgen Klopp’s European champions, with his lung-busting runs down the left flank helping ensure Liverpool are rock-solid in defence and completely unpredictable going forward.

Everyone knows just how many chances he and Trent Alexander-Arnold create for Liverpool, with their expert delivery into the box causing havoc for the opposition and clocking up a huge number of assists.

But it’s not just his crossing which makes Robertson such an impressive attacking force – his ball-carrying skills are also second to none in the Premier League right now.

Opta defines “ball-carrying” as the act of carrying the ball five metres or more and with a total carry progress of 2091.3m, Robertson is the most prolific player in the England’s top flight right now in this regard.

Premier League 2019/20 season: Top 10 players for ‘total carry progress’

  1. Andy Robertson (2091.3m)
  2. Adama Traore (2004.7m)
  3. Ricardo Pereira (1915.5m)
  4. Harry Maguire (1900.9m)
  5. Matteo Guendouzi (1830.3m)
  6. Fernandinho (1761.3m)
  7. Wilfried Zaha (1710.9m)
  8. Trent Alexander-Arnold (1692.1m)
  9. Felipe Anderson (1691.9m)
  10. Daniel James (1624.1m)

Robertson has “out-carried” the likes of powerful winger Adama Traore (2004.7m), Man Utd speedster Daniel James (1624.1m) and teammate Alexander-Arnold (1692.1m).

Ball-carrying full-backs are a theme in Europe right now, with Jesus Navas topping the La Liga chart for this particular metric with a distance of 2310.6m.

The former Man City winger has somewhat redefined himself as a full-back since rejoining Sevilla in 2017, even earning himself seven caps for Spain this year having not featured for his country since 2014 before then.

Another perfect illustration of the importance of full-backs in the modern game.

Find out more stats using Opta’s new ball-carrying metric in the latest article published by the Premier League.