Yesterday’s 4-0 drubbing of Arsenal saw every player who lined up in Liverpool’s front three find the scoresheet, including substitute Takumi Minamino. The 26-year-old came off the bench with just 15 minutes left in the match, but he needed less than a minute to get his goal.
Manager Jürgen Klopp was thrilled for Minamino, who has had a tough time breaking into the team since arriving at Anfield and often faced calls for his sale in recent months.
“You can’t imagine how happy I am with Taki,” Klopp said after the victory. “He’s in an incredible moment and today he was actually our solution for four positions, I think. Five positions actually because he could have played both eight positions and all three upfront. He’s in a really good moment and you see that.”
While Minamino’s status as the first choice to replace anyone across the front five yesterday was largely due to Liverpool’s current injury woes, it does speak to the trust that Klopp places in the Japanese attacker.
Considering that Minamino will likely need to be involved regularly for the foreseeable future thanks to the aforementioned injuries and the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, it’s encouraging to see that he has the manager’s trust and is making an impact when given the opportunity to do so.
“I’m pretty sure he played really well for Japan in the international games. Now he’s here and very important for us. We’re so happy, everybody was so happy for him that he scored the goal. The way he played today reflects how well he is training at the moment.
“He will have games, no doubt about that.”