Kostas Tsimikas may well be feeling the pressure against Burnley tomorrow. Friday’s news certainly piles it on.
The Athletic reported on Friday that Andy Robertson is back in full training already. The Scot left Anfield on crutches under two weeks ago but his minor ligament damage appears to have healed.
Robertson is now in line to return for Liverpool next week and is expected to start against Chelsea. It’s a rapid turnaround – and a welcome one – that no one really saw coming.
But it does have a less-than-welcome effect for one person.
Kostas Tsimikas vs Burnley
Kostas Tsimikas will want to impress against Burnley – that’s for sure. It could be his last high-profile game for quite some time.
The Greek played against Norwich City in his full Premier League debut, having received just six minutes in the competition last season. It was, for us, a promising display.
Tsimikas has plenty of energy and aggression at full-back. He’s not quite as refined as Robertson but there are similarities. Liverpool certainly don’t lose any drive with the Greek there.
But his performance wasn’t flawless. As Jurgen Klopp said after the game, it was like ‘someone pulled the plug’ in the second half.
Tsimikas started making a few mistakes and was a little slower. Was it fitness? Maybe complacency? We can’t be sure but whatever the reason, it’s easily ironed out.
But Tsimikas only has limited chances to show that he’s capable of ironing out those wrinkles. It’s a catch-22, really – he needs opportunities to play in order to earn opportunities to play.
Robertson’s fitness levels mean he can effectively play every game, severely cutting down on Tsimikas’s chances to shine.
So with that in mind, Tsimikas must show what he can do against Burnley. It might be his last high-profile fixture for some time, as we say, and performing well is the key to earning more games.
Struggle or show complacency and it’s hard to know when Klopp will trust him with another fixture like this.