Liverpool have completed the signing of Kostas Tsimikas for a fee of around £11.75m from Olympicas – the Greek international will cover for Andrew Robertson at left back next season.
Liverpool had been eager to sign 22-year-old Jamal Lewis from Norwich City, but the relegated side wanted double of Liverpool’s £10m offer and so a deal was never agreed. Instead, Liverpool were quick to make a move for Tsimikas and the transfer took just over 48 hours to complete.
At 24-years-old, Tsikimas will come as a welcome addition for a Liverpool side who look to retain the Premier League title next season. Due to financially uncertainty and a decreased budget caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Reds pulled out of signing Timo Werner from RB Lepzig earlier in the year and news about the reported transfer of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich has been lacking in recent weeks.
In fact, Kostas Tsimikas is the first player to sign for Liverpool for a fee of over £10m since Alisson Becker joined the club in the summer of 2018 for £56.25m. Given Liverpool’s booming financial situation which has continued to flourish over the past few years, this had led many supporters to question Fenway Sports Groups commitment towards investing in the football club, and there is a strong argument to be made that the American owners have not supported Jurgen Klopp in his pursuit to build upon this Liverpool side.
With that in mind however, a second choice left back will come as a welcome addition for Jurgen Klopp to call upon throughout the 2020-2021 campaign. Tsimikas is an experienced professional having made 86 appearances for Olympicos (5 in the Champions League) and 3 appearances for his national team.
The signing could also prevent Andrew Robertson from growing complacent about his role in this Liverpool side. Robertson has established himself as one of the best left backs in world football ever since he joined the club from a relegated Hull City over three years ago, but this added competition for the position does have the potential to push him towards even greater heights in the seasons to come.
In some respects, Liverpool have revolutionised the role of the full back in modern football through the attacking presence of Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold who ended the 2019/2020 campaign with 25 assists between one another. Is anyone expecting Tsimikas to reach such striking numbers for the Reds? Not really, but he will cover for a fatigued Andrew Robertson when the fixture list becomes congested. James Milner and Neco Williams did fine when called upon last season but both are better suited elsewhere and so a backup for the position was well on the agenda as we approached the transfer window.
Robertson has been injured just once during his time at Anfield (and even this came after the 2018/2019 season had ended and Liverpool had triumphed in the Champions League final), but the Scotsman’s injury record could increase as he approaches his late twenties which might present Tsimikas with more game time than expected under Jurgen Klopp over the next few seasons.
With great pace and an excellent crossing ability, he has been described as a forward thinking left back who loves to drive forward with the ball – perfect for the intense style of football which the German manager expects from his players.
In an interview for Liverpoolfc.com, Klopp also spoke about how Tsimikas fits in with the winning mentality of this Liverpool side.
“Kostas knows from personal experience what is required to challenge and succeed domestically and in the Champions League, and he is ambitious for more – just like us”
“He is a very good footballer with an attitude to win and to compete, and I really like his mentality. It fits perfectly with the mood and the desire we have in our dressing room already.”