Greek football expert Stel Stylianou believes that Kostas Tsimikas has the ideal mentality to succeed at Liverpool.
The 24-year-old left-back has joined the Reds from Olympiacos after the English champions agreed a fee in the region of £11,000,000 with the Greek giants.
With Andrew Robertson the only recognized senior left-back at the club, Liverpool — who, among other options such as Sevilla’s Sergio Reguilon, were said to be interested in Norwich’s Northern Ireland international Jamal Lewis — made the signing of a back up left-back a priority this summer.
Having traveled to England for a medical, barring any late hitches, Tsimikas will become a Liverpool player in the coming days, solving Jurgen Klopp’s left-sided full-back depth issue.
And Stylianou, who owns the Shoot The Defence podcast network, says that the Greek international should prove a shrewd acquisition for the Anfield side and, stylistically, become an ideal understudy for Robertson.
“With Tsimikas, he’s quite similar to Robertson. He’s energetic, he’s high tempo, he loves to get forward and get in behind the full-back and get balls into the box. What I have noticed about him recently is that he is not afraid to use his right foot when delivering balls into the box. In fact, a couple of years back, against the Czech Republic for the under 21’s he scored with his right peg,” he said.
Linked to Napoli and Leicester City, the 24-year-old, who spent a season on loan at Willem II with ex-Red Pedro Chirivella, has been watched closely by a number of clubs for the last few years, with interest coming from La Liga and Bundesliga teams.
“He’s been very highly rated in Greece for the last few years and Olympiacos have made no secret that there have been several clubs in attendance watching him play, including Villarreal, Betis, Sevilla and Wolfsburg. Eintracht Frankfurt were very close to agreeing a deal to singing him for 2/3,000,000.”
With Klopp and Michael Edwards looking to build a squad that, to quote a club source, contains “no d*ckheads”, Stylianou believes the Reds have found an ideal personality in the honest and hard-working Tsimikas.
“What I like about him personally, is that when he conducts his interviews he doesn’t use fluff. He’s not afraid to tell it like it is. He opened up to one of the papers a few years back that he supported Xanthi when he was a youngster. It’s very surprising for a Greek footballer to admit which club they supported, given the rivalries with Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, AEK, etc.
“He uses terms like concentration and energy a lot, and there are key elements which I believe Jurgen Klopp instills in players and looks for from them. The fact that his current coach at Olympiacos is using him in a similar way that you see Robertson or other similar, marauding full-backs. I think he’s the kind of player that can come in at left-back and fill Robertson’s spot perfectly,” he added.
Widely expected to come to join the club as a rotational option, at only 24 Tsimikas still has time on his side and he looks to improve. Having gained a wealth of domestic and, perhaps crucially, European experience while playing for a giant club in Olympiacos, the three times Greece capped international can, in Stylianou’s opinion, have a very bright future in Liverpool red.
“He’s still a little bit raw and inexperienced, but he’s played European football, he’s played for the national team and he’s got a very bright future.