Takumi Minamino is ‘not the end product’ and ‘can only become better’, says Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders as he insists the Japan forward DOES have an Anfield future
- Takumi Minamino joined Liverpool in January 2020 from RB Salzburg
- The forward spent the second half of last season on loan at Southampton
- The Japan international has been an unused substitute in five of the Reds’ games
- He registered goals in pre-season friendlies against Hertha Berlin and Osasuna
Liverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders has said that Takumi Minamino still has a future at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s right-hand man has claimed he is ‘enthusiastic’ about the Japan international and insists he is ‘not the end product’.
The 26-year-old made the move to Merseyside in January 2020 from RB Salzburg and swiftly became a Premier League title winner.
Assistant coach Pep Lijnders has said that Takumi Minamino is ‘not the end product’
But Minamino spent the second half of last season on loan at Southampton with progress at Anfield slow and only 31 appearances for the forward under Klopp.
It could be time for Minamino to come in from the cold, however, as Lijnders suggested that he is ‘what Liverpool need’.
‘Taki had a really good pre-season and I think it was really important for him after going to Southampton, which was a good decision at that time,’ the assistant coach told the club’s official website.
Jurgen Klopp’s (right) right-hand man Lijnders (left) has said that Minamino has promise
‘He came back and had a complete, full pre-season with us training-wise. He made an impact in pre-season, we were really enthusiastic about him. Then he had a small issue, with the national team, but he’s back now. He was not 100 per cent fit because he came back early, but now he is good to go and we are really happy that he’s part of our team.
‘Jurgen said, “Wow, the amount of times Taki comes one-v-one against the goalkeeper” I said, “Yeah, it shows you don’t need super, super speed to come one-v-one with the goalkeeper.” He is a very natural, intelligent mover.
‘That’s what we need; we needed it already in the last games. He has this good timing to move in behind, good combination play when the players are close to him.
The Japan international spent the second half of last season on loan at Southampton
The 26-year-old scored in the Reds’ pre-season friendlies against Hertha Berlin and Osasuna
‘He only can become better. That’s what we like, that’s why we brought him in at that time – because we saw the potential, not the end product.’
Since returning from Saint Mary’s, Minamino has yet to feature competitively for the Reds this season despite being on the bench for five of Liverpool’s six games.
But he could be in line to make his first appearance this term when Liverpool travel to Norwich City in their Carabao Cup third round tie on Tuesday evening.
Minamino took a while to register a goal for the Reds, fianlly breaking his duck in their 2020 Community Shield clash against Arsenal and recorded two for the Saints last term.
He impressed during pre-season, scoring in friendlies against Hertha Berlin and Osasuna and has clearly caught the eye of Klopp and Lijnders on the training ground.
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