Takumi Minamino has had a frustrating time at Anfield following his January 2020 signing from Red Bull Salzburg.
The diminutive attacker was in put in the unenviable position of needing to adapt to a new squad, league and country amidst the chaos of the pandemic. What first team action that has come his way has not been consistently grasped, culminating in a so-so half season loan to Southampton last campaign.
With Diogo Jota arriving and forcing his way ahead of him in the attacking pecking order, Minamino appears resolved to make his mark in the domestic cups, with his poacher’s goal in Wednesday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Preston making it three strikes for him in two matches so far.
“Taki is high quality,” Reds manager Jürgen said of Minamino following the game.
“Taki’s problem is—actually, there is no problem apart from the other players in his positions are really good and thank God for us they are not injured. That’s it.”
“Taki is absolutely fine, Taki is in an outstanding moment, training-wise much better than he showed tonight but he was the most dangerous player and scores a goal, which is really important. He understands our game as well really well, so you can throw him in and he can be immediately a massive part of our football.”
“Tonight, he was, obviously. Taki was good, but we all know he can be even much better.”
In short it seems that continuing to light up the Carabao Cup will only mean good things for Minamino’s future in the squad.