Richard Hughes Can Solve Liverpool Problem and Make Arne Slot £19 Million in the Process

Liverpool’s interest in Brest left-back Bradley Locko suggests uncertainty surrounding Kostas Tsimikas’ future. Diogo Jota, Joel Matip, and Thiago Alcantara occupied seats behind Liverpool’s substitute bench. Due to their unavailability for the match against Tottenham Hotspur, they closely observed the action alongside their teammates.

Third-choice goalkeeper Adrian, accustomed to this role in recent years, and Jayden Danns also joined the team. Danns, a youngster, was on standby in case any of the forwards encountered an issue during the warm-up.

Kostas Tsimikas, despite being fit, found himself on the sidelines alongside a pair of players not sidelined by injury. Despite Liverpool’s reduced casualty list, Jurgen Klopp had to make the tough decision to omit Tsimikas from the match-day squad for their 4-2 victory, marking Klopp’s penultimate Anfield fixture.

Conor Bradley, back from injury, swiftly returned as the right-back cover for Trent Alexander-Arnold, while Stefan Bajcetic, recovering from his own injury woes, made a cameo appearance for the first time since September.

Unfortunately, Tsimikas was the one left out this time, marking the second occasion in recent weeks that the Greek international found himself excluded from the squad when substitution decisions were made, following his omission from the 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace last month.

Andy Robertson has been a consistent starter on both occasions. This comes as no surprise, as the Scotland international has been the primary left-back for Liverpool for almost the entirety of his seven-year tenure.

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In contrast, Tsimikas, who arrived from Olympiacos in 2020, has often played a backup role. However, he now appears to have fallen behind Joe Gomez in the team’s pecking order.

Gomez has enjoyed a resurgence this season, often filling in as a full-back. In the absence of Robertson and Tsimikas due to injuries in December and January, Gomez stepped up impressively. Although Robertson has reclaimed his spot, Tsimikas has struggled to make an impact.

Since his return from injury in February, Tsimikas has only managed seven appearances, starting in just two of them. His most recent start came in a Europa League quarter-final first-leg defeat against Atalanta, where he was substituted at halftime.

Tsimikas now faces an uncertain future, especially with the upcoming summer transfer window. Despite signing a new long-term contract during the 2023-24 campaign, he has fallen out of favor under manager Jurgen Klopp.

With Klopp set to depart and Arne Slot taking over, there might be an opportunity for Tsimikas to prove himself. However, it’s unlikely that he will displace Robertson as the first-choice left-back.

Robertson’s reign as the world’s best left-back may be in question, yet his recent performances amidst a season plagued by injuries underscore his value to Liverpool. Turning 28 soon, Tsimikas faces slim odds of claiming the top spot.

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Both Robertson and Tsimikas were brought to Liverpool under Michael Edwards’ purview, alongside incoming sporting director Richard Hughes. With no clear successor to Robertson in sight, Fenway Sports Group’s football CEO faces the task of finding a replacement.

While Owen Beck has shown promise on loan at Dundee, his age of 22 suggests time is ticking for him to prove himself in the Premier League. Luke Chambers, though highly rated, may end up in central defense despite excelling at Wigan Athletic.

Liverpool may seek a left-back in the transfer market, with Bradley Locko among those linked. The 22-year-old’s impressive stint at Brest, with the club set to clinch third in Ligue 1, makes him a viable option.

Tsimikas could seek regular playing time elsewhere, with clubs like Juventus rumored as potential destinations. His market value of around £19 million offers Liverpool a chance to profit from his sale and reinvest in reinforcements.

Despite Tsimikas’s notable contributions, including a winning penalty in the FA Cup final, his dwindling prominence hints at a possible departure from Liverpool.

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