Kostas Tsimikas joins Liverpool: The left-back who will cover Andy Robertson, dumped Arsenal out of Europe, and was wanted by Leicester and Napoli
Liverpool have made their first signing of the transfer window in Greek left-back Kostas Tsimikas.
The 24-year-old will be a back-up for Andy Robertson with the Reds linked to several players who could fill that role in recent weeks.
They reportedly wanted Norwich’s Jamal Lewis and saw a £10million bid rejected with the Canaries wanting around £20million.
The two clubs’ valuations were too far apart and Liverpool decided to explore other avenues.
And they’ve now got a left-back in with Tsimikas signing a five-year deal at Anfield, the Reds paying Olympiakos £11.75million for his services.
Now Liverpool fans probably won’t know too much about Tsimikas but here at talkSPORT.com, we’ve got you covered.
Who else were linked?
Leicester City were thought to be keen on the left-back as a possible replacement for Ben Chilwell, who looks set to leave this summer.
Brendan Rodgers will have to look elsewhere for a new defender if he loses the England ace.
Meanwhile, Serie A side Napoli were also rumoured to be interested.
Club career so far?
Tsimikas came through the youth ranks at Neapoli Thessaloniki and Panserraikos before joining Olympiacos in 2014. He went on to make his debut for them in 2015 in the Greek Super League.
The defender was sent out on loan to Esbjerg, in the Danish Superliga, for the second half of the 2016/17 season and made 13 appearances.
The following campaign, he was loaned out again but this time to Eredivisie side Willem II. He made 33 appearances, starting 32 of them, as the side finished 13th.
Tsimikas also added three goals and three assists for the club during the season.
The 24-year-old has managed to cement his place in the Olympiacos starting XI over the last two seasons as he helped them win the league title this year.
Tsimikas may also be familiar to fans of Tottenham, Arsenal and Wolves as he has played against all three in either the Champions League or Europa League this season.
He was up against Lucas Moura in the games against Spurs in their Champions League group games that ended 4-2, to the north London side, and 2-2.
Moura scored once and added an assist across the two games.
The left-back was part of the team that dumped Arsenal out of the Europa League with the second leg going to extra time and a last minute goal sent the Greek side through.
He had his work cut out against Nicolas Pepe but did a reasonable job in containing the forward.
Tsimikas also featured against Wolves in their Europa League round of 16 clash last week where Nuno Espirito Santo’s side beat them 2-1 on aggregate.
He has 134 club matches already having only just turned 24, so there is plenty experience there when Liverpool will need him.
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Tsimikas played for Greece’s Under-19s and Under-21s before getting the call-up to the senior squad in 2018.
He made his debut in their Nations League clash against Hungary in October 2018 and provided an assist for Kostas Mitroglou.
He has made three total appearances for his country so far.
How will he fit into Liverpool’s team?
Andy Robertson is one of the best left-backs in the Premier League. He and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been unrivalled with their output at both domestic and European level for the last two seasons.
Any signing Liverpool make will not be a replacement, especially considering Robertson is still on 26 and only just about reaching his peak.
Tsimikas is likely to be a back-up for him during another expected gruelling campaign.
Blogger Petros Karaiatogu wrote a long evaluation of Tsimikas’ performances for Olympiacos looking at particularly how he played in the Champions League and Europa League.
The conclusion was that he could be a good fit for Liverpool as there are similarities with Robertson’s game given at how well he progresses the ball through dribbling.
Tsimikas has pace and can get forward well to offer a lot when Liverpool are attacking.
James Milner has often filled in at left-back when Robertson has been out but that’s not his best position and Klopp is clearly wanting long-term cover.
On the right hand side, they are well sorted with Neco Williams coming through the academy ranks to provide competition/back-up for Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Tsimikas is likely to be another piece in the puzzle to give Liverpool the strength in depth needed to try and win back-to-back Premier League titles.