Some observers criticised Takumi Minamino for his display against Porto but it showcased why he can be Roberto Firmino’s successor at Liverpool.
The Japan international earned widespread praise for his cameo against Arsenal, as he rounded off the match with the fourth goal of the evening and his fourth of the season.
Against Porto, it was all about Thiago, Mohamed Salah and Tyler Morton, but Minamino was fantastic in my eyes and showed a glimpse into why Liverpool signed him from RB Salzburg for £7.25m.
Liverpool fans get a lot of stick from rivals for defending Firmino’s lack of attacking output. But the reality is that he’s not in the side to score or assist, although Jurgen Klopp would love it if he did so more often.
However, Firmino is better than any other forward in the world at counter-pressing. That is what Liverpool’s entire tactical system is built on – the ability to win the ball high up the pitch leads to more goals from the likes of Salah and Mane.
However, it also helps Liverpool concede less as it means sides can’t get up the pitch as quickly as they’d like and the Reds can get back into their shape to defend.
Taki had the most tackles (4) for Liverpool and covered the most distance (12.07km), with his heatmap showing that he was absolutely everywhere against Porto.
It is harder to find a forward with his understanding of counter-pressing and his ability to win the ball back than it is to find a forward to score an extra seven-10 goals per season.
All he’s lacking is the confidence and bravery to go one step further in the final third. But he showed against Arsenal that he’s got what it takes to find the back of the net.