Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has labelled Andy Robertson as world-class and said that he is impossible to replace.
The Scottish left-back suffered an ankle ligament injury in the pre-season game against Athletic Club two weeks ago. It was feared that he could miss a large chunk of the season.
However, he recovered in near-record time and was back on the bench for the Reds’ second game of the new Premier League season against Burnley yesterday.
This means that Klopp has a big decision on his hands. Which left-back will start against Champions League winners Chelsea next week?
Well, judging from his comments after yesterday’s game, Robertson is likely to get the nod.
What was said?
Speaking to Stadium Astro in a post-match interview, the manager was asked what his plans were at left-back for the game against the Blues.
He said: “It’s not really a problem, to be honest.
In the last few years, it was often a problem that it was quite tricky to replace Robbo. I would say it’s actually not really possible because Robbo is a world-class player.
“He’s like the full package, as the defender and the attacker, that you wish for in the position. He’s a leader in the team and all this kind of stuff.
“Kostas, like Robbo before, needed time to get used to all the different things we are asking left-backs for and, absolutely, in time, he got it.
He is in a good moment, played well, set a goal up with a sensational cross.
“It’s great to have them both. For a manager, it’s a problem when you don’t have a left-back! When you have two, it’s no problem.”
Klopp is right about Robertson
The fact that Jurgen Klopp believes that Andy Robertson is world-class is not much of a shock.
The 27-year-old is comfortably the best left-back in the world in our eyes.
He has elite attacking output, never gets found out defensively and is one of the best characters in the game. Apart from perhaps aerial ability, he has no weakness.
So, despite how good Tsimikas has been so far, we would start Robertson against Chelsea.
Don’t get us wrong, the Greek definitely would have made the coaches have a second thought about it, but the facts are that Robertson is simply a better player at the moment.
Liverpool would have a better chance of beating Thomas Tuchel’s side with Robertson in the team.
Yet we have learned from the last two games that Tsimikas is capable of playing games at the top level.
We now know that we can afford to give Robertson as much rest as he needs because his deputy is as good as you can get.
The boss is right – it’s far from a problem. We finally have the depth that we craved for so long.