Liverpool completed the transfer for Kostas Tsimikas on Monday. The deal represents the club’s first signing of the summer as Jurgen Klopp looks to bolster up his options ahead of the Reds’ upcoming Premier League title defence.
Tsimikas, 24, was confirmed as a Liverpool player on the official club site and the player will take up the No.21 shirt. Sky Sports claim he’ll cost around £11.75m and he should provide cover for Andy Robertson.
Ahead of the arrival, here we analyse how Tsimikas will likely be utilised by Klopp now the club have adequate cover in a position that has forced Robertson to miss just four league appearances in two seasons.
A major problem in domestic cup competitions in recent years has been that Liverpool have been heavily reliant on youngsters to get the team over the line.
With Tsimikas, Liverpool have a ready-made and experienced option in both the FA and League Cup where Robertson will likely be rested.
Last season, James Milner, Adam Lewis and Yasser Larouci were all deployed at left-back in the absence of the Scotland captain.
With Lewis expected to move out on loan and Larouci recently turning down a contract extension with the club, Milner w0uld have been the only experienced option to cover and even then the former England international is not best suited on the left.
Bringing in Tsimikas will not just add depth in the Premier League, but will provide added senior experience to make a significant push in the cup competitions.
In Europe, depending on Liverpool’s Champions League draw, Tsimikas could be used in a number of continental matches last season.
Last season Liverpool were drawn alongside Napoli, RB Salzburg and Genk. Robertson played all 90 minutes in all of the Red’s Champions League fixtures excluding both clashes with Genk.
This would suggest if the Reds are to draw a similar calibre of opponent Klopp could potentially hand Robertson a much-needed rest in Europe as well as in the cup.
Also, Tsimikas’ experience in Europe last season for Olympiakos showcases why the Greek defender is the perfect like-for-like option.
He played every minute of Olympiakos’ 2019/20 Champions League campaign including impressive performances against both Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich.
Now, this is where game time could become complicated for Tsimikas as if the past is an indicator, Robertson is a mainstay in the team when it comes to the league.
Indeed, Klopp could look to shuffle from time-to-time yet Robertson will take precedence in Liverpool’s title defence when it comes to left-back.
Tsimikas’ title-winning experience can still be of benefit in the league and if the worse were to happen and Robertson were to fall injured then at least Liverpool have a natural replacement.
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, no-one can deny the Reds rode out their luck in that regard.
However, luck is no longer a factor, Liverpool are strengthening in all departments and although it isn’t necessarily a blockbuster signing it is certainly one in the right step in regards to next season.
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