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Kostas Tsimikas gives reminder of his quality in first 90 minutes in 7 months

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Kostas Tsimikas played his first full 90 minutes in seven months on Sunday, and teed up the second goal in Greece’s 2-1 victory over a Norway side comprised of big names.

It was a difficult first season for Tsimikas at Liverpool, having struggled to impose himself following his £11.75 million move from Olympiakos.

Like Neco Williams, he suffered due to a lack of stability in defence, with Jurgen Klopp relying upon Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold as leaders in the absence of his first-choice centre-backs.

The 25-year-old only made three starts, coming off the bench a further four times, playing just five minutes in the Premier League.

His only full 90 came in the 7-2 win over Lincoln in the third round of the League Cup in September, and unsurprisingly he was used sparingly by Greece throughout the international breaks as a result.

But Tsimikas made his second consecutive start of the summer in a friendly clash with Norway on Sunday, and emerged with an assist having played the full game.

Fielded on the left wing in a 3-5-2 formation, Tsimikas was given attacking freedom, though Greece manager John van ‘t Schip will have been wary of the dual-threat of Martin Odegaard and Erling Haaland for the opposition.

Greece took an early lead through Georgios Masouras, before doubling it in the 21st minute as Tsimikas found himself in a good position to the left of the six-yard box, allowing him to cut it back for Thanasis Androutsos to make it 2-0.

Stefan Strandberg headed home Odegaard’s corner for Norway’s consolation, but Greece were able to celebrate a bright end to a productive double-header, having already held Belgium to a 1-1 draw last week.

For Tsimikas, it was a big moment in playing his first full 90 minutes in seven months, and he can now enjoy a month-long break before returning to Merseyside.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, August 25, 2020: Liverpool's substitute Kostas Tsimikas during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

With Robertson part of the Scotland squad at this summer’s Euros, the start of pre-season could be a big opportunity for Tsimikas to prove himself to Klopp.

The addition of Ibrahima Konate has strengthened Liverpool’s centre-back ranks, while Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all expected to be back fit for July 12.

A settled unit at the heart of defence should allow Klopp to rotate more efficiently at full-back, and after a season adjusting to the demands of the Reds’ system, Tsimikas could benefit along with Williams on the opposite flank.

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