Jackie McNamara told Andy Robertson he was too good to last long at Hull City after he quit Dundee United to join the English club five years ago.
Celtic and Scotland legend McNamara was manager of the Scottish Premiership club when they accepted Hull’s £3million offer in the summer of 2014.
The former full-back had helped Robertson to ignite his career after prising him from the Scottish lower divisions a year earlier as he fought back from being released by boyhood club Celtic at the age of 15.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, McNamara said: “I signed Andy Robertson from Queens Park after Celtic released him for being too small, so I took him from Queens Park to Dundee United. He was 19, playing in the second division – you look at him now.
“They develop at different stages and it’s how they handle (it). I was interviewed last season before he broke into the Liverpool team, it was like eight or nine games gone and he had not played him yet after signing from Hull.
“I said once he gets in he’ll keep it. You’ve seen wee bits of it, like with [Lionel] Messi [against Barcelona] – there’s respect there off the park but on the park it’s like ‘you’re not stopping me.’
“Wee bits every day when you work with him. I knew, obviously there was little bits he needed to improve on which every player does but his determination, his energy and fire was there to see.”
Robertson joined Liverpool in the summer of 2017 for a fee of around £8million that now looks to be one of the great bargains of recent times.
The 25-year-old will play in his second consecutive Champions League final against Tottenham on Saturday at the end of what has been an outstanding season personally and collectively at Liverpool.
Robertson is widely regarded as one of the outstanding left-backs in the world as well as being the captain of Scotland.
McNamara added: “When he left us to go to Hull, I said to him: ‘You’ll not be at Hull long’, cause once you’re down there – (people) think Scottish football’s not great – so once you’re down there and you show everybody in England that you can do it then you’ll go up and up and he has.”
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