Shaqiri sings praises of Andy Robertson’s understudy

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Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri believes that Kostas Tsimikas can go on to become a “very important player for the club”.

Tsimikas joined The Reds in a €13 million move from Olympiacos last August but has seen his game-time severely limited due to the incredible fitness of Andy Robertson and injury issues throughout the rest of the back four. There’s no doubt that if Virgil van Dijk was not injured and playing regularly on the left side of the two centre-halves, then Tsimikas would have been given a lot more minutes alongside the Dutch colossus.

Unfortunately, as it happened, Van Dijk’s season was ended in October and, as a result, Tsimikas has barely played for Jürgen Klopp’s injury-stricken Reds.

Tsimikas was named the Greek Player of the Year last month so his talents are certainly appreciated in his homeland.

Speaking to this week, Shaqiri was eager to highlight how good Tsimikas has been doing for Liverpool behind the scenes:

“He is, first of all, a very good character and a very nice guy.

“A happy guy, always laughing every day – this is also very important. He is a good friend of mine; I try to help him any time he needs some help. He’s a funny guy.

“Obviously he didn’t have a lot of games this season but we see his qualities every day in training and how hard he works every day in the gym, after training too. I think this is going to pay off soon.

“I hope he gets his rhythm as soon as possible and he can get some minutes because he’s a very good player and he can be much, much better if he can improve himself also. That’s why he came here.

“I’m looking forward that he’s going to be a very, very important player for the club.”

Shaqiri was also asked how the squad is settling into the club’s new AXA Training Centre after moving from Melwood earlier this season.

“We are very happy to be here, to be honest. I like it a lot.

“We have everything here that is very important and professional for the players and the other people who work here.

“This club needs a building like this, a new building, because the club is so big. I’m very happy to be here. We are the first team who can use this, which is also memorable because maybe in 100 years they’re going to speak of us being the first team who went in here.

“It’s really nice, I love it here, to be honest, to come here every day to work. Of course, Melwood was Melwood and will stay always in our heart.

“But life goes on and now we have a new building and try to do our best and to be successful also in the new building.”

Many of Liverpool’s first-team squad are away on international duty at the moment. Klopp’s men return to action when they travel to play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, April 3rd.

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