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'He trains incredibly': Klopp claims he's been so impressed by £7m Liverpool player, he hates leaving him out

Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Takumi Minamino, claiming that it’s ‘really hard’ to leave the Liverpool star out of his squad.

Klopp was asked about Minamino by a reporter during his press conference aired via Liverpool FC on YouTube. In response, the boss gave a glowing appraisal of the 27-year-old’s attitude and work-rate.

“One of the hardest things I have to do at the moment -Taki not involved,” said Klopp. “It’s really hard because the last thing he deserves is not being involved. He trains incredible.”

Klopp also claimed that despite his lack of playing time, Minamino is still a big part of Liverpool’s success this season.

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“Since Taki came here he improved a lot, I like a lot the steps he made,” he said.

“How he deals with the setbacks is insane, the setbacks of not being involved from time to time and it’s really hard. He never gives up, he always stays positive, he always goes for everything and he’s a big part of the story of this team this year and last year.”

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Game-time dries up for Taki

Since his brace sent The Reds through to the FA Cup quarter-final at Norwich City’s expense on March 2nd, Minamino has only played 26 minutes for Liverpool.

On a number of occasions he has even been left out of the matchday squad completely.

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Already struggling for meaningful game-time, the addition of Luis Diaz in January pushed him even further away from the starting eleven.

Making a meaningful contribution

However, it isn’t just lip service from Klopp. Minamino really has had a huge impact on Liverpool’s success this season. His nine goals make him the fifth highest goalscorer at the club this campaign.

Given that he has only played 23 times, that’s pretty incredible. For context, Diaz has scored five times in 21 games.

Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Minamino’s goals in the League Cup have already proved decisive to the club winning one trophy this season. His three strikes on the way to the FA Cup final could yet have the same impact, too.

Liverpool rejected an advance from Leeds United for Taki on deadline day in January. If all of Liverpool’s first-choice attacking options stay at the club this summer, it’s hard to see how such an approach would be turned down again.

If he does end up leaving, Minamino can hold his head high for his contribution at Liverpool. It seems likely that we might have seen the last of him in a Liverpool shirt. If so, all the best for whatever’s next, Taki.

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