The excitement over Takumi Minamino was quite palpable in the pre-season. He had a strong end to the season, and looked way more comfortable after the restart. The hope was that he would continue to soak up more minutes along the forward line and play a bigger role. However, this hasn’t happened. Perhaps, it’s the three substitute rule. Or its Diogo Jota’s emergence as the first non-Salah/Mane/Firmino attacker, and as a result, Taki has been limited to just 58 minutes over five substitute appearances in the Premier League, and two Champions League appearances. Klopp addressed Taki’s low minutes ahead of the Atalanta fixutre:
There is no dip in form. Taki is training well, (on Monday) he was exceptional for example. It’s just a strong team, and offensively – thank God – we didn’t have the same problems as the other positions. It’s hard to get in this team – that’s how it is.
But no dip in form, just a challenge. Bobby (Firmino) plays like 12 instruments in our orchestra! He’s very important for our rhythm. We can play well without him as well. Taki is a sensational boy and a great player, so he will face that challenge. His time will come, no doubt.
There’s still a long long season ahead, and Klopp will definitely want to avoid the injury madness happening in defence and midfield repeating in our attacking line. If Liverpool FC take care of business and qualify for the next stage against Atalanta, perhaps we could see Taki, Origi, and Shaq take to the pitch for the remaining fixtures.