Takumi Minamino impressed Jurgen Klopp with his display against Midtjylland. The Japan international played a different kind of position.
Jurgen Klopp was clearly impressed with what he saw from Takumi Minamino on Wednesday.
Minamino got a rare start against FC Midtjylland and played the full 90. He did it in centre-midfield, too. It’s a position he played against Brighton but things didn’t quite click in that game.
In Denmark, however, Klopp liked what he saw from the player.
“The way we played, the way the boys adapted, not to forget that Takumi Minamino played now only the second time in that position – once in Brighton, which was a different game, and tonight it looked already much better,” said Klopp, per the Mirror.
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Minamino needed this – desperately. He hasn’t played too often in this campaign but impressing Klopp here was necessary.
We’ve talked before about his problem. Minamino arrived for £7m as an option for the front-four. Diogo Jota, however, has more than usurped him – he’s left him in the dust.
The only hope Minamino had of getting more football, then, is proving he can play more positions. The more he can cover, the better his chances, after all.
He left a lot to desire against Brighton but this was better and he was very unfortunate to see a late goal ruled out. Not that this was a perfect game by any means.
Minamino still isn’t quite suited to the role and certainly isn’t a physical midfielder. But his energy – Minamino ran the second-furthest on the pitch – coupled with his agility makes him an interesting option in midfield.
Liverpool certainly don’t have anyone like him there right now and there will be games where Minamino becomes an intriguing option.
He just needs time on the pitch to learn the role a little better. And judging by Klopp’s words, he may well get that this season.