Klopp gives clarification over lack of game time for Takumi Minamino
Speaking in an interview with the official Liverpool FC club website (h/t Mirror), manager Jurgen Klopp has said that ‘time will come’ for Takumi Minamino but he would have to settle with a backup role for now.
Takumi Minamino signed from RB Salzburg for £7.25m at the turn of 2020. However, the Japanese has started just 8 matches since then and has been used as a substitute 16 times by Klopp.
The 25-year-old forward has had just 56 minutes in the league this season. He would hope for more minutes amidst the Reds’ uncanny injury crisis, but Klopp says that the ex-Salzburg man must be patient.
“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.”
Comparing Minamino with his direct competition for a place in the first-team, Jurgen Klopp explained that Robert Firmino continues to be the team’s fulcrum and that Minamino should wait for his opportunity.
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.”
Klopp issued a message for all the Liverpool players to realize their importance this season.
“In this season, more than any other, every member of our group will play a role if we are to achieve anything. It has always been the case with us, but the circumstances around us in this moment makes it even more so. As difficult as it has been recently, it does present an amazing opportunity.”
Liverpool lost 2-0 at Anfield to Atalanta on Wednesday where Minamino came on for just 5 minutes in the end. It is difficult to see how Minamino can establish himself over our newly formed ‘front 4’, but the manager seems to have trust in him and his comments in the interview above would certainly reassure Minamino.