We’ve been here before when analysing one of Liverpool’s fresh recruits. History would dictate that a typical Jurgen Klopp signing take time.
Whether it has been Fabinho, Andy Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Joel Matip, adapting to the German manager’s style of play and physical demands expected from his players isn’t always instantaneous which is why we should be patient with the club’s most recent signing Takumi Minamino.
While game time has been limited, there has been evidence of clear quality with traits and technical attributes that Klopp can certainly hone with time.
Time is the key aspect regarding what typically typifies a successful Klopp signing. In the cases of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, all have been instant hits as the club had to pay top dollar in positions that were once a glaring weakness at the time of purchase.
At present, the current XI is past improvement following Liverpool’s procession to the league title yet there are still areas of improvement that Klopp will look to hone over the coming months.
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Liverpool’s cover in the attack has been once an area that has drawn up a lot of talk in recent weeks and there have been calls for the club’s transfer committee to potentially take a dip in the market for sufficient understudies to the Reds’ current front-three.
Timo Werner was a name that was seen as the perfect attacking solution given his age and undeniable promise. However, Liverpool resisted the pursuit due to the current climate and the effect that Covid-19 has had on the footballing market.
Might be an opportunity
Klopp recently told The Guardian, that he is looking to find internal solutions to ensure that Liverpool are in an adequate position to defend their PL crown next season.
He was in a similar position when he first came to the club and he had to find an attacking solution without fishing in the transfer market.
Before Roberto Firmino was utilised as a centre forward in October 2015, Liverpool had only scored nine goals in 10 matches prior and were begging for an alternate solution to find the back of the net more frequently.
During his first three games in that position (Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Manchester City) the Brazilian clocked up a goal and three assists and Liverpool had eight goals – just one less that they had managed all season prior.
This could be something that Klopp looks to repeat potentially when looking to aid Firmino in attack next season. Firmino is currently 28 and while at the peak of his powers, cannot be expected to lead the line forever.
Minamino – who signed for £7.25 million in January (BBC) – showcased during his time with RB Salzburg that he can act as another central attacking solution when Erling Haaland was unavailable.
In the two matches for Salzburg, he was used centrally against SKN St. Polten and WSG Tirol, Minamina contributed three goals for the Austrian champions (one goal, two assists), who scored seven times in the two fixtures Minamino was the attacking focal point.
In the FA Cup, Minamino was used as the central option in attack but he didn’t have sufficient firepower around him to judge whether he could be a viable option in the Premier League.
Against Everton in the PL last month, Minamino featured on the right of the front three and was largely effective with the ball before being hooked off at half-time. In the time he has had for Liverpool, Minamino has produced some pretty impressive auditions.
While Liverpool may not be able to offer him a starting place right away, history would dictate that time and chances will be available for Minamino while he is a Klopp player.
With the right coaching and guidance, Minamino could become a hugely valuable asset for the English champions.
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