While some of Liverpool’s current stars have excelled from day one under Jürgen Klopp, fans have begun to grow used to the idea that others will need a settling in period—and that there’s nothing wrong with that.
Success stories like Andy Robertson and Fabinho have proven that taking a bit of time doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Such, perhaps, will be the case with Takumi Minamino, who arrived in January and has yet to make a significant impact.
“A new player is coming in and usually, how it is with us especially, you say, ‘Come on, the first two, three, four months you don’t really judge,” the Liverpool manager noted. “We don’t, but I know the public does.
“That means then we always have to explain why it’s not like this. And the more time you have, for whatever reason, the better it is and now we had four weeks—which is, by the way, the longest pre-season I ever had with any Liverpool side.”
Anyone who had been expecting Minamino to make an instant impact probably wasn’t being realistic. Moving to England from Austria and joining the runaway Premier League leaders is a big step up.
Add in the complications of cronavirus coming into play shortly after he arrived, and it would have been shocking for the Japanese international to have done anything more in the winter than making a handful of cameos for his new side.
Now, though, he’s had that settling in period. And he’s had four weeks training with Liverpool now—Klopp’s longest pre-season. He is, his manager believes, now fully ready to make an impact for the Reds.
“Yes it helped,” Klopp added. “He looks really different in the moment to the first three weeks when he tried to please everybody and do everything that we say, and that’s in a language he is not 100% comfortable with.
“That’s how it is so now we had much more time, he had much more time to settle, and he settled. That’s good and yeah, that helped.”