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'I thought I had signed a schoolboy' - Steve Bruce opens up on Liverpool star he never regretted selecting

Andy Robertson is already well-established as a Liverpool legend, having won every major honour during his seven years at the club.

An English, European, and world champion with the Reds, he has made 297 appearances to date since moving to Anfield, scoring 11 goals and registering 65 assists. And while injury limited him to 30 appearances this season, the 30-year-old is still well-placed to head into next season as first-choice under new head coach as Arne Slot.

But as well as a club legend, Robertson is also one of Liverpool’s best ever transfer bargains. The Scotland international joined the Reds for an initial £8m in July 2017, with Kevin Stewart going the other way for what was thought to be a similar fee.

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Add-ons would take the overall fee to £10m, with it safe to say that they have been activated during the past seven years, given the left-back’s success at Anfield, and that Liverpool have certainly got their money’s worth.

It’s been some rise for the Scotland captain, having famously started his senior career with Queen's Park when on the brink of starting university, after being released by Celtic for being too small. The Hoops’ loss has certainly proven to be the Reds’s gain!

Robertson was only 23 when he joined Liverpol, having just suffered a second relegation from the Premier League with Hull City. He was still one of the Tigers’ star players though, having impressed in his three seasons with the club following his move from Scottish Premiership side Dundee United as a 20-year-old.

Yet signed by Steve Bruce in a £2.85m deal, the Manchester United legend has recalled how he didn’t actually think Robertson was ready for Premier League football and had initially been forced to throw him into his starting XI on the opening day of the 2014/15 season.

“When I signed him, he arrived at Hull with his mum and dad. I thought I had signed a schoolboy,” Bruce said on talkSPORT. “He was that young and that young-looking.

“In all honesty, at the start of his career, I didn’t really want to throw him in because he was young, but we had the first game of the season against QPR away in the Premier League, and we didn’t have a natural left-back.

“I am looking around and thinking, but I have just signed one, I am going to throw him in because he was just so young. He never came out of the team. That’s how well he had done.

“To follow his career now and what he has done for Liverpool is one of the great bits of management which you enjoy seeing the lads have a really great career.”

Robertson would mark his Hull debut with a goal-line clearance as the Tigers clinched a 1-0 victory, while he would go on to win the club's Player of the Month award for August 2014 as he settled in quickly and proved his manager’s early doubts wrong.

Meanwhile, while Bruce might have had early doubts, Stan Ternent, Hull City's chief scout certainly didn’t. Initially monitoring Stuart Armstrong, he would quickly switch attention to Robertson and urged the Tigers to sign him during only his second scouting mission, away at Hibernian, before the game had even reached half-time.

“I think I left after 25 minutes,” Ternent recalled to the Hull Daily Mail in June 2019. “I’d watched Robbo before, away to Kilmarnock, and he’d stood out by a mile. So I went again and I was gone by half-time to ring Steve Bruce. ‘Are you sure?’ he said. ‘Of course I’m sure.’ And that was that.

"I'd been looking at Stuart Armstrong but Robbo was the no brainer. He'd a history with Celtic and he was always a determined lad given how he'd recovered from his setbacks. You could see straight away he had ability and he can only get better."