One player who has to be patient in the short time he has been at Anfield is Takumi Minamino.

Takumi Minamino of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool FC at Wanda Metropolitano on February 18, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Japan international joined Liverpool from RB Salzburg in the January transfer window after Jurgen Klopp secured Minamino’s services for a bargain fee of just £7.25m [BBC Sport].

Minamino, 25, has been restricted to just four appearances under the German manager but is yet to start a Premier League match for the English champions-elect.

He last featured in the league against Southampton before the inaugural winter break following a nine-minute cameo off the bench but is yet to feature for Liverpool since.

In both of Liverpool’s two recent matches against West Ham United and Atletico Madrid, Minamino was overlooked by Klopp to come on and impact the match from the bench.

On each occasion, the German manager was forced to make alterations to his team in losing positions but in both games, Klopp deemed Minamino wasn’t yet ready for that responsibility in crucial matches for his new team.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 26: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Takumi Minamino of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on February 26, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Klopp has proven in the past he enjoys integrating players slowly into the team as it takes time for new stars to fully incorporate the former Borussia Dortmund manager’s philosophies and playing style into their games.

Just look back to Andy Robertson and Fabinho’s early months at Anfield. Both players weren’t initially trusted to play on a regular basis and each player had to wait for the best part of half-a-year until Kopp felt that the Liverpool duo were ready for a sustained period in the starting XI.

 

Fabinho especially struggled to keep up with the pace of the English game and failed to earn the trust of his manager Klopp in the opening months of his Anfield tenure. His early struggles were typified by his tendency of dropping too deep, wanting too many touches and being wasteful in possession.

Yet he took his manager’s comments on board and grew into the player he is today. He became the hallmark of consistency in the second half of last season en route to European glory in Madrid and took his game to another level in the 2019/20 campaign.

Minamino can have a similar impact if he remains patient and uses his time on the bench wisely. At Salzburg, he was undoubtedly one of the team’s glowing talents but at Liverpool, he has entered a camp that is littered with world-class players.

Liverpool have proven masters of the dark arts in the transfer window and have meticulously developed hidden gems into global superstars on numerous occasions. Minamino was brought to Anfield for a reason.

His time will come.

 

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