Liverpool completed the transfer for Kostas Tsimikas on Monday. The deal means Jurgen Klopp finally has a complete squad.
Liverpool confirmed Tsimikas on the official club site and the player represents their first senior transfer of the summer. Sky Sports claim he’ll cost around £11.75m and he should provide cover for Andy Robertson.
And that’s very important. Liverpool went the entirety of last season without proper cover for Robertson and the year before that, too. While both campaigns were hugely successful, they did get lucky.
If Robertson had picked up an injury, Liverpool would have had real problems. The Scot is a vital player, after all, and there wasn’t anyone at the club to replicate his play if he was out.
James Milner can play left-back to a decent standard but he’s not the same. Left-back isn’t his favoured role and he plays it differently to Robertson, purely on account of being right-footed.
Liverpool used to have the same problem on the other flank, too. Trent Alexander-Arnold was the only recognised right-back – Joe Gomez could cover but again, he’s better elsewhere.
Fortunately, Neco Williams developed into a very good player. Enough so that he’s set for a five-year contract and should cover Alexander-Arnold for years to come.
And with Kostas Tsimikas in the transfer window, they no have cover in both positions. Arguably, that completes the squad.
A long time coming
This is the first time Jurgen Klopp has a ‘complete’ squad. His first team is firmly established and successful but he hasn’t had cover for every position behind them.
Now, though, he finally does.
There’s Adrian in goal, Joel Matip at centre-half, and Williams & Tsimikas covering full-back roles. Liverpool have options all over midfield. Takumi Minamino finally offers a False 9 who can cover Roberto Firmino. Xherdan Shaqiri or Harvey Elliott should offer alternatives to Mohamed Salah, while Divock Origi does the same on the other flank.
Now, that’s not to say that Liverpool couldn’t improve on certain players. They definitely could and, arguably, they’d benefit from an extra centre-half in support.
But there are options. Klopp can afford to rest every single player in his squad and know that there’s a good fit to cover them. That’s a luxury he hasn’t had at Liverpool, even with the major trophies.
There’s a reason they reportedly made a backup left-back their one transfer ‘leeway’ this summer. It’s the last position to complete the squad.
Hopefully, that’s how the Reds improve next season. Klopp can rest both Robertson and Alexander-Arnold, presumably allowing them to kick on further. He can do so without dragging players from elsewhere, too – a new luxury.
No, Liverpool haven’t made a blockbuster signing. It’s a transfer that undoubtedly improves the champions, however, and that should excite everyone.