Andy Robertson injury may inadvertently hand Liverpool December boost, as Kostas Tsimikas chance set
This could be the opportunity that Kostas Tsimikas fans have been waiting for.
During Scotland’s 2-0 win against Denmark that sealed a place in the World Cup qualifying play-offs, Andy Robertson pulled up clutching his leg.
The Liverpool left-back was promptly taken off by manager Steve Clarke, and while there is no official confirmation of how long Robertson will be out of action for, he will most likely miss this weekend’s game against Arsenal.
Robertson’s misfortune presents another chance for Tsimikas to demonstrate that he belongs in the starting XI. The Greek defender has played exceptionally well in the games he’s started this season.
He’s started three from 11 Premier League games so far this season, but hasn’t been seen (at least in the league) since the 5-0 win against Watford a month ago.
He’s registered one assist thus far, which came in the 2-0 win against Burnley at Anfield in the opening weeks of the campaign.
Back in August, Jürgen Klopp commented on the fight for the left-back position, but maintained there wasn’t one.
“First and foremost, I’m more than happy and really pleased with how Kostas performed in the whole pre-season,” said Klopp. “It was a big step for him, he had a tough first year at Liverpool.
“The problem that we had was first Kostas had to adapt and then was injured, got COVID and all these kind of things. Then our defensive line had to get changed pretty much every week.
“Then bringing in a left-back before who didn’t play a lot before, it would have just been really difficult.”
Klopp also stated that he believed Robertson was ‘impossible’ to replace, saying: “It was often a problem that it was quite tricky to replace Robbo. I would say it’s actually not really possible because Robbo is a world-class player.”
Yet Tsimikas did perform so well that many felt that Robertson, who had a somewhat sluggish start to the season, should’ve been dropped, or at the very least given a few games break. This would’ve allowed Tsimikas to have a run of games at left-back.
If we are going by mere statistics, the Scottish captain has only one assist more than Tsimikas, despite Robertson playing nearly double the minutes. But it isn’t just that, Robertson has looked suspect defensively on a few occasions this season, especially in the 3-3 draw against Brentford, when he failed to stop two Brentford crosses that ultimately led to goals.
This season, Tsimikas’ ability to swing the ball into the box is matching Robertson’s, who has long been famed for his crossing prowess since signing for the club four years ago.
Tsimikas’ performance so far this season have provided Robertson with a genuine kind of competition for a place at left-back that Liverpool fans haven’t seen for years.
The wish was also that this could be replicated on the opposite side, with Trent Alexander-Arnold the only known right-back.
Now with Robertson likely, at least at the time of writing, to miss a few games due to injury, this will give Tsimikas supporters the opportunity they’ve been waiting to show that he deserves a run in the side.
The break could also benefit Robertson, who can recharge his batteries with a heavy fixture load coming up in December. Liverpool have nine games in three different competitions to weed through, and Klopp will need to use the full depth of his squad.
A recharged Robertson will be sorely needed, as will a full of confidence Tsimikas.