Liverpool have started the season strongly. For the first time in 30 years the Reds are defending champions and they are certainly acting as such. Jürgen Klopp’s side strolled to victory at Stamford Bridge at the weekend, a couple of substitutions he made could be indicative of his plans for the campaign. Simon Hughes has backed Takumi Minamino to challenge Roberto Firmino this year.

Simon Hughes has backed Takumi Minamino to challenge Roberto Firmino this year.

Simon Hughes has backed Takumi Minamino to challenge Roberto Firmino this year. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Takumi Minamino at Liverpool

Liverpool signed Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg in January of this year, paying the Austrian side £7.25m for his services.

The Japan international was an exciting signing, Kopites were drooling at the prospect of him in the Red shirt given how impressive he was over two legs against Jürgen Klopp’s side in the Champions League.

Whilst playing for Salzburg he put in a star showing at Anfield, scoring in a hotly contested 4-3 win for the Reds.

Minamino to challenge Firmino

The football schedule this season will be a gruelling one.

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The global health crisis caused football to pause and the late resumption has led to some cramped fixture lists.

As a result managers will be expected to use their squad thoroughly, giving games to players who would’ve have gotten as many minutes previously.

Speaking to the Red Agenda Podcast, Simon Hughes backed Minamino to challenge Firmino as a result:

“I can see Minamino pushing Firmino on occasion, he obviously came on up front against Chelsea and I think he’ll get more game time in that position.”

What RTK has to say

I think we can all agree now that Takumi Minamino is best when playing in the Firmino role.

The Japan international doesn’t have the pace to be playing on the wings but he does have the intelligence to play as a false 9.

He has impressed when playing centrally during pre-season and even bagged a crucial goal in the Community Shield.

Fingers crossed we’ll see him start to deliver on his potential this season now that he has settled into the squad more and picked up some more English.

He terrorised us for Salzburg, he’ll hopefully terrorise the Premier League in turn.

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