It’s fair to say Kostas Tsimikas’ time at Liverpool probably hasn’t gone the way the left back and Greek player of the year would have hoped, with the player facing a coronavirus setback shortly after signing for his new club and yet to make a significant impact.
The same could probably be said for Xherdan Shaqiri, who has shown promise often since joining the Reds but has too often been hit by injuries any time he seems to be finding his form. So it makes a kind of sense, perhaps, for Shaqiri to offer insight into Tsimikas.
“He is a very good character and a very nice guy,” Shaqiri told the club’s official website when asked about his teammate. “He is a good friend of mine. Obviously he didn’t have a lot of games this season but we see his qualities 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 [still be] much, much better. That’s why he came here.”
It was always going to be tough for Tsimikas to earn minutes with left back Andy Robertson already established at the club, but the hope had been that he could take minutes in the domestic cups and lesser league games from the start to lighten the Scotsman’s load.
His early season coronavirus setback prevented that, and by the time he returned the Reds had run out of other competitions and the kind of wiggle room in the league table that would have given him a chance to impress manager Jürgen Klopp in match action.
There’s always a chance, though, that he could yet be needed and have a key role to play this season—and the same holds true for Shaqiri—as the Reds chase a top four finish and, just maybe if they can find their form and a little luck, a seventh European Cup.