Kostas Tsimikas is optimistic for more opportunities at Liverpool in his second season after explaining the reasons for his slow start at Anfield.
Tsimikas joined Liverpool last summer, taking on the unenviable task of competing with Andy Robertson for the left-back spot. As expected, it was not an easy one; the Greece international managed just three starts in comparison to the Scotsman’s 48.
His lack of action has already led to rumours that he could leave Liverpool. Four years still remain on his contract, but the likes of Inter Milan could try to prise him away.
However, a move to Napoli has seemingly been ruled out and, in fact, Tsimikas may not be going anywhere at all.
As he takes part in pre-season training with Liverpool, the 25-year-old has revealed why he struggled to get going in his first season and why the second year will be better.
He told Liverpool’s official website: “I am very happy to be back with the boys, everything is very good. Training is really hard and really intense, but this will help us a lot for the next games. We start with friendly games and we continue working very hard together.
“The first six months were very difficult for me because I had COVID and two injuries, but the second half of the year was very good and I trained very hard in coming back from the injuries. Now I am more ready and in good shape to give everything for the team and help them to achieve our goals.
“I know I have to challenge the best left-back in the world. This gives me the power to do my work well every day, to continue working hard and to continue to be as good as I can.
“My target for next season is to stay healthy, first of all, and after to play more games and help my team.”
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Tsimikas first linked up with Liverpool last August, but is getting a full pre-season under his belt this time. He has been impressed with the squad’s work rate in their training camp in Austria.
“It’s very, very good – all the boys came in very good condition. Everybody is giving absolutely everything and this helps a lot to keep it up and continue working hard.
“If I look at the training we have done, I am very excited. I want to start this season. We have a lot of things to improve and to solve, but I think the team will be ready to give everything and achieve our goals.”
Tsimikas happy for returning teammates
Included in the travelling party are Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, who are returning from long-term injuries. Liverpool suffered without their two main centre-backs last season, but will soon be able to call on them again.
Tsimikas has only shared a pitch with van Dijk and Gomez once each, so is glad to have them back among the group.
He said: “We are very happy for these two boys. They are looking very good after their injuries and I hope for the best for them.
“I hope those injuries will be their last and the team needs them a lot. Hopefully they will bounce back again.”