Jurgen Klopp dubs fringe attacker as “an outstanding talent” with increased gametime on the way
Liverpool’s famed front three falling apart?
Liverpool had a well established front three two seasons ago, in the form of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. However, the addition of Diogo Jota last season added further quality to the side, and the Portuguese has seized his chance in the absence of Firmino so far this season.
Another man brought in to ease the burden on the first-choice attackers was Takumi Minamino, signed from RB Salzburg in January 2020. However, the Japanese international failed to hit the ground running, and was subsequently loaned to Southampton for the second half of the 2020-21 season.
TAKI TAKI 🔥
Minamino puts us ahead early 🙌
🎥: @ESPNFC #NORLIV pic.twitter.com/kn6P7hBQcV
— Liverpool FC USA (@LFCUSA) September 21, 2021
While he flattered to deceive for the most part, he did occasionally demonstrate his considerable talents for the Saints, and netted twice in his first appearance for Liverpool this season, in a 3-0 win over Norwich in the Carabao Cup third round.
Klopp backs Minamino to come good
Ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Brentford this weekend, Jurgen Klopp was quizzed on his wide-man, and offered a glowing report:
“Everything helps Taki. Taki is really an outstanding talent,”
“You come from Asia, you go to Salzburg. You come from Salzburg and go to Liverpool.
“Liverpool not in the best phase of their lives, it’s not that we were flying all the time. He came in here when everything was difficult.
📺 Jurgen Klopp on Takumi Minamino:
“He is an outstanding talent. It helped massively going to Southampton and he came back a different player and a different package.” 🔴 pic.twitter.com/wmjozfGymU
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) September 24, 2021
He continued to point out the world of good that a loan move did the 26-year-old, saying:
“We had no supporters in the stadium and all that stuff. Then you need to get used to the Premier League. That’s how it is.
“It helped massively that he went to Southampton. He came back a completely different player. You can see that now. His finishes are really incredible, how he connects the game and drops at the right moment.
“He is a different package now and that was really helpful. Players need time and we just don’t give them often enough. He used that time so that is good.”
[Quotes taken from the Liverpool Echo]
Can Minamino force his way into the formidable Liverpool attack this season, and finally show why Liverpool felt compelled to bring him to Merseyside?