Liverpool stand just nine games away from an unprecedented quadruple and Jurgen Klopp is in no doubt that the strength of his squad has played a crucial role in their successes.
Despite having already lifted the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League the year after, the Reds boss thinks the 2022 vintage is the strongest and most complete. “Of course, it is,” Klopp said when asked if this is the best squad he’s had at Anfield. “We had this strong squad, they were just unavailable. Now they are available. That makes it the squad that we always wanted to have.”
Having been down to the bare bones last season, Klopp has had the luxury of rotating players in and out of his starting lineup, without the inevitable dips in quality. Kostas Tsimikas is one of those players on the sidelines, but ready to step in when called upon.
In his maiden season on Merseyside, the Greek international managed to earn just five Premier League minutes, with Andy Robertson an ever present at left-back. And while the Scottish international remains the undisputed No.1 in that position, Tsimikas has proven he is more than capable as an understudy.
After Robertson picked up an injury in the final match of Liverpool ’s pre-season, it was Tsimikas that started the league campaign on the left and impressed hugely as a deputy. “He’s a really good player, Kostas. We get on well. He’s good to have about the changing room, he’s really lively,” Robertson told Mirror Football last year.
“The Liverpool fans have been able to see him more this season, he started the season and has played a few games since. Being at a club like Liverpool you expect to have competition all over the park, and we’ve got that.
“We’ll push each other, try and make each other better and compete against each other, but when the other one plays we want each other to do well.” And his performances haven’t gone unnoticed across the continent, with reports now suggesting Juventus are ready to test Liverpool’s resolve with a bid this summer.
Juvedipendenza report that the Bianconeri are preparing an offer in the region of £11m, exactly what the Reds paid Olympiacos back in 2020. It is claimed that Max Allegri is looking to replenish his options in the position and sees Tsimikas as a perfect option. Klopp, despite failing to offer him regular minutes, has spoken in glowing terms when it comes to the 27-year-old and admitted he needed to let him- “run free” from time to time.
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“Kostas has a lot of quality – he can push Andy Robertson, but Andy Robertson in my eyes is the best left-back in the world but it’s good we have the options to give Robbo a rest in moments – even when he doesn’t like it,” Klopp explained earlier this season.
“Kostas needed time to adapt but he has done that now and we have to let him run free sometimes! Especially when you have the quality such as Kostas.” The Reds boss is fully aware what has Liverpool on the precipice of sporting history, but Juventus could be about to provide one of the first stern tests in keeping the strongest squad he has ever built together.