Takumi Minamino is quickly developing a wonderful knack for scoring goals. It’s one that could see him become a vital player for Liverpool.
This is undoubtedly a huge season for Minamino. The Japanese international arrived last January for around £7m but really spent the first six months of his Liverpool career finding his feet.
But now he’s settled and we expect a real step up in quality from Minamino. Now, he may not overtake the current front-three and start regularly.
That was never going to be the case, however. Instead, Liverpool will want Minamino to be a fantastic option – someone who can change games and allow them to play in different ways.
Fortunately, he’s already showing he can do that.
Knack for goals
Minamino scored a brace against Lincoln City on Thursday. Both goals were good finishes, too, but they also had something else in common – they were first-time finishes.
The 25-year-old reacted excellently twice to catch everyone else off-guard. He simply found two loose balls and fired them home, leaving the goalkeeper helpless both times.
Now, this was only one game, of course. But it’s encouraging that this is exactly what Minamino did to score against Arsenal in the Community Shield, too.
Again, he popped up to find a loose ball and swept it into the back of the net. It’s a pattern that suggests Minamino has this game-reading ability in his locker. Few players do have it and you could argue that Liverpool haven’t had a real ‘tap-in merchant’ since Dirk Kuyt.
And if he does share that trait, then he becomes a fantastic threat off the bench. Liverpool lacked goals from their reserves last season but if Minamino can find this space to score in tight games, he’s a huge luxury.
Liverpool won’t have signed Minamino for his goals – they wanted his movement and versatility. But it’s quickly looking like he’ll bring them anyway. That £7m will surely end up looking like a steal.