Kostas Tsimikas has not made the impact many hoped upon his move to Liverpool last summer, with the left-back reportedly yet to convince Jurgen Klopp in training.
Klopp was optimistic upon the arrival of Tsimikas from Olympiakos in August, expressing his desire to utilise both him and Neco Williams as regular rotational options.
A glut of injuries elsewhere in defence have ensured that both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have been almost ever-present, however, in particular the Scot, who has played more minutes (3,268) than any other Liverpool player.
This is despite Tsimikas being in the matchday squad for 21 of the Reds’ 41 games so far this season, with the Greek having only started three and come off the bench in a further three.
Injuries and COVID-19 have hampered Tsimikas’ progress, but more worryingly, according to The Athletic, “Klopp has not seen sufficient evidence in training that he has adapted to the team’s style of play.”
It may explain why the manager has been so reluctant to turn to Tsimikas despite the clear burden on Robertson as first-choice left-back, and could also highlight the problems facing players moving to new clubs during the pandemic.
Diogo Jota was able to hit the ground running, but Thiago has revealed he is “not happy” with how his life at Anfield began, while Ben Davies is yet to even feature following his deadline-day move from Preston.
Klopp’s comments on Davies’ situation do illuminate the obstacles facing Tsimikas as he looks to settle as a reliable option, with a direct comparison made with Robertson.
“Andy Robertson took half a year, in a normal season where pretty much everything else was kind of settled, to settle in,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“Ben is a really good player but he has to get used to all this stuff here as well, that’s how it is. We still have options and, hopefully, it will stay like this.”
In a normal campaign, it is considered tough to adjust to Klopp’s demands both in training and on the pitch, and a number of setbacks have not aided Tsimikas in settling while in more challenging circumstances.
But it is a disappointment that he is unable to be called upon as Robertson shows clear signs of fatigue, and with every game effectively a must-win now, it could be that he is not given a proper chance until next season.