Minamino’s struggle for minutes
Takumi Minamino has struggled for regular action since he made the switch to Liverpool from RB Salzburg in January of 2020.
After failing to break into Liverpool’s first-team for any sort of prolonged stretch, the Japanese star was loaned to Southampton for the second half of 2020/21, where he would score two in 10 outings.
Minamino has since returned to Liverpool and made 10 appearances this term. However, only five of those have come in the Premier League, with said outings totalling just 38 minutes of action.
Minamino’s favoured position
But, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah set to depart for the African Cup of Nations next month, Liverpool will likely need to call upon Minamino on a more regular basis in the near future.
And the 26-year-old has now told Jurgen Klopp where his favoured position is.
Speaking after Liverpool’s win over Arsenal earlier this season, Klopp suggested that Minamino could play five positions for the Reds:
“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.”
Now though, Minamino has stated that playing closet to goal is his favoured position:
“Playing closest to the goal is my favourite position, I believe it is one of my roles to score goals.
“But the manager decides where I play, and it is good that he says that I can play in many positions because it is one of my advantages. I would like to play at a higher level in every position.
“There are a lot of great players in the team. It always helps me keep my motivation higher.
“I always keep my motivation high and the manager’s comments do not necessarily make it even higher.
“It is what professional players need to do and I don’t do anything special. Even though I play only limited amounts of game time, when I am given a chance I do my best to show my 100 per cent.
“In order to do so, I need to prepare for it. It is what professional players need to do. But, still, I am very glad that there are people who look at me and make good comments about me.”
With Diogo Jota a natural left-winger, could we see the Portuguese bumped out wide and Minamino placed up front once Salah and Mane leave for the AFCON?