Kostas Tsimikas may represent Liverpool’s only signing this summer, yet the Greek left-back still offers several reasons for supporters to be excited for next season.
Tsimikas offers Jurgen Klopp something totally different in the full-back department and finally gives the German manager sufficient cover in an area of the team that was worryingly thin.
Not only does it mean Klopp has in effect two options in one position, but it means he can finally manage Andy Robertson a little more carefully given the Scotsman missed just four league matches over the previous two seasons while clocking up 98 appearances during that time.
Given that the Premier League represents a significant step up to the Turkish top-flight respectively we deemed it would be best to judge the 24-year-old defender following his performances in Europe.
During the Champions League campaign, Tsimikas featured against eventual Champions League winners Bayern Munich, the 2019 competition’s runner-up Tottenham as well as the Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade – whom Liverpool supporters will all know too well.
It’s not just words that back up Tsimikas’ talents but his statistics also make for pleasant reading.
Tsimikas featured in all six of Olympiacos’ Champions League fixtures last season. In that period, defensively he averaged 2.8 tackles per game which when compared to Robertson (who averaged 1.5 PG in Europe) sees the Greece international come out on top according to WhoScored.
To make this even more impressive, Tsimikas also comes out better in terms of interceptions (2.0 PG to Robertson’s 1.1 PG) as well as clearances (3.5 PG to Robertson’s 1.6 PG).
This is an impressive level of consistency from Liverpool’s newest recruit.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Tsimikas only statically impresses on the eye from a defensive point of view. He does have an act for getting forwards as well.
Another statistic by WhoScored notes that Tsimikas averaged 1.7 key passes PG as well as 2.3 dribbles. When compared to Robertson, the former comes out on top again when paired with Robertson who in the Champions League averaged 0.8 key passes and 0.4 dribbles PG.
Tsimikas looks set to be a total menace for opponents and paired with the best left-back in Europe on a daily basis in training, it certainly opposes an encouraging prospect next season for supporters.
While his statistics must be met with some caution given he played in a team whose style of play to Liverpool’s is completely different it does suggest that with time, he can become a key outlet for Liverpool.
More importantly, it allows Klopp to make his teams more unpredictable next season given that Liverpool’s attacking play largely takes place from out wide.
If Liverpool wanted a more defensive and conservative approach, the team could switch to a 4-2-3-1 with Tsimikas at left-back while Takumi Minamino plays in an attacking trident directly behind either Roberto Firmino or Mohamed Salah.
Considering he registered seven assists last season for Olympiacos, it is unlikely to be long until Tsimikas gets on the assist tally for Liverpool during the upcoming 2020/21 campaign.
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