'I don't accept that': Jurgen Klopp thinks some people are totally wrong about 'super talented' player
Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

'I don't accept that': Jurgen Klopp thinks some people are totally wrong about 'super talented' player

Takumi Minamino leaves Liverpool today to join AS Monaco. Jurgen Klopp rejected certain claims about the player as he departs Anfield.

Liverpool officially announced on Tuesday that Takumi Minamino has left the club. He joins Monaco after two and a half years with the Reds, making 55 appearances.

It was a strange spell, of course. In fact, no player has ever had a stranger one as Minamino joined the club right before the world shut down. His arrival in 2020 came at a time when Liverpool had pretty much wrapped up the title already, too – the last few months of the campaign were utterly unique.

Minamino then struggled for appearances over the first half of his first full campaign. A memorable display came in a 7-0 win at Crystal Palace in December 2020 – but he wouldn’t start again in the Premier League for Liverpool until May 2022.

There was a loan spell to Southampton in there over the first part of 2021 but Minamino just never got regular football with Liverpool. What he has done, however, was perform wonderfully in the cup competitions.

The Japan international finished as the Reds’ top scorer in both the EFL Cup and FA Cup this season. The club won both competitions, too, as Minamino boasted the best strike rate at Liverpool.

And that’s why Jurgen Klopp refuses to call Minamino anything other than a success.

Jurgen Klopp defends Takumi Minamino as he leaves Liverpool

“An amazing professional; super, talented player,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com. “As a person, he is full of warmth and makes everyone feel positive. A manager’s dream, to be honest.

“I’m sure there will be those who think it didn’t quite work out. Those who think this are wrong. I don’t accept that.

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“His contribution far outweighs the opportunities we were able to give, in terms of starting matches. He made us better each and every day he was with us – not just in the games he played in but every single session in training. Perfect attitude, winner’s mentality.”

It’s impossible to disagree. No, Minamino didn’t have the kind of impact many hoped for and never really got close to being a first-XI player. But players have left to great acclaim without making his kind of contributions to trophies at Liverpool.

All in all, Minamino can leave the club with his head held high. He made his impact and it’s one Liverpool won’t forget.

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