Who is Kostas Tsimikas and why did Liverpool sign him?
Premier League champions Liverpool have recently announced the signing of Greek left-back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos for a reported fee of 11.7 million pounds. The 24-year-old is Liverpool first summer signing since 2018 and will deputize for standout left-back Andy Robertson.
The move was a surprising one, as Liverpool were heavily linked to Norwich City’s Jamal Lewis, who was reportedly available for a cut-price due to the team’s relegation to the Championship, however, the Merseysiders couldn’t agree a deal with Norwich and quickly moved for Tsimikas who wasn’t garnering much interest from elsewhere.
So why did the six-time European champions sign him? We assess:
A good fit
Liverpool run their offence from the wings, and they do it very efficiently.
In Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the inside forward roles and with Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold out wide, Jurgen Klopp has created an offensive system that sparsely relies on its midfielders and centre-forward to create chances and score goals.
Robertson and Alexander-Arnold have combined for 48 assists in the Premier League in the past two campaigns, lightyears ahead of any other duo in England’s top-flight. However, their backups, James Milner and Joe Gomez, respectively, are nowhere close to providing the same offensive production that these two can deliver and the absence of either could cripple Liverpool’s arsenal.
In Tsimikas, Liverpool now have a pacey full-back that boasts incredible work rate, a strong inkling for recovery tackles and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to make a difference from the flanks.
The 24-year-old provided five assists and scored twice in 27 matches in the Greek Super League. Those numbers don’t exactly scream generational but are still a decent contribution from the fullback spot. Tsimikas loves to whip in crosses and loves playing in advanced positions, which is key, since Klopp expects his fullbacks to be comfortable in the final third of the field.
Replacing the old guard
Tsimikas will take over from 34-year-old James Milner as the deputy left-back at Liverpool.
The veteran has filled in at almost every outfield position and has delivered solid performances over the years. However, as a right-footed player on the left flank, Milner prefers to cut inside instead of stretching play down the sides as opposed to Tsimikas who is a naturally attacking left-back.
At just 11.7 million, Tsimikas is a solid addition to the Liverpool side. The low risk, high reward nature of the signing has been Liverpool’s mantra for the past few seasons and if the Greek fullback can develop further, Liverpool will have an excellent backup option for their brilliant left-back.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @LFC