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Jurgen Klopp says 'rhythm' kept Takumi Minamino out of Liverpool XI vs Brentford

Jurgen Klopp says ‘rhythm’ was the reason for Takumi Minamino starting on the bench as Liverpool beat Brentford. The Japan international did get on, of course.

Jurgen Klopp offered a little bit of a surprise with his starting XI against Brentford. Takumi Minamino didn’t make the Liverpool team, starting on the bench as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain took his place in the front three.

It was a small surprise. Minamino feels like more of a natural attacker at this point, with Oxlade-Chamberlain playing almost exclusively in midfield. Was this a sign that Klopp doesn’t trust the Japanese international then? After all, he missed a golden chance against Arsenal last Thursday.

Well, apparently not. Klopp explained after the game that Minamino just lacks ‘rhythm’ after his return from injury.

“Of course, injury interrupts then rhythm and all these kinds of things,” said Klopp, per Liverpoolfc.com. “He played now the last game, 90 minutes, and now today coming on, that was the rhythm, it was right for him.

“It was Thursday-Sunday – it’s not easy after coming back from injury, so that’s why he didn’t start today. It’s good. How I said, he’s in a good moment.”

Takumi Minamino for Liverpool

Minamino did get onto the pitch, of course, and actually scored Liverpool’s third goal. His pressing, along with Roberto Firmino, forced Brentford into a terrible error on which they capitalised.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

So it ended up being a decent cameo from the 27-year-old and while it didn’t quite make up for Thursday’s miss, it does continue a ‘good moment’ as Klopp put it.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

This is the most Minamino has ever looked like a fit with Liverpool. His movement and pressing both look in-sync with the rest of the side – not something we’ve really seen before. So it’s nice to hear that’s recognised and that Klopp does, in fact, want to persist with the forward.

We imagine he’ll now start on Thursday, for instance – Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury makes that near-certain – and he’ll have a huge opportunity to establish himself further. This could be the making of Minamino, then, and Thursday is almost certainly the biggest game of his Liverpool career.

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