Takumi Minamino will make or break his Liverpool career between now and the end of January, but the signs look promising for the Japanese player.
Signed from RB Salzburg in the 2020 winter transfer window for £7.25m, he has struggled to make the impact as Firmino 2.0 or, as some fans called him, ‘Bobby’s clone’.
One thing is clear, however, he’s very talented player that is overflowing with love and passion for Liverpool Football Club and I sincerely hope he can succeed at Anfield.
I have already covered his impressive strike rate for the club this season in a run of cameos that has seen him score four goals at a rate of one every 60.5 minutes.
It’s a small sample size but four goals in 242 minutes is fantastic and it’s a run that Liverpool need him to build on, not just so he can be classified as a successful signing, but to keep the Reds’ 2022 title hopes alive.
Jurgen Klopp will be hard at work assessing the next two months and how to keep Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes alive, while also navigating an EFL quarter-final tie versus Leicester and potentially a semi-final.
Throw in massive league games against Aston Villa (hiya, Stevie) Spurs and Leicester in December and Chelsea in January and the Reds are set for a pivotal two-month period in the 2021/22 football fixture list.
In January, they will be without Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita.
Minamino will get more game time than he ever has at Liverpool and, if he wants to remain at the club and play a more pivotal role moving forward, the Japanese star will need to contribute with goals and assists.
Mane and Salah have scored 51% of Liverpool’s goals this season, so taking them out of the side effectively removes half the Reds’ attacking threat. Thus Klopp will be looking at the likes of Minamino to stand up and be counted.