The Japan star has struggled for game time at Anfield, but Liverpool’s assistant coach believes he has great potential to develop his game.
joined Liverpool from Salzburg in January 2020. The Japan international was loaned out to Southampton last season but has struggled to get game time upon his return to Anfield.
The Reds’ assistant coach Pep Lijnders says the Japanese winger has displayed encouraging signs of his potential in training sessions.
He told Liverpool's officialwebsite
"Taki had a really good pre-season and I think it was really important for him after going to Southampton, which was a good decision at that time.
"He came back and had a complete, full pre-season with us training-wise. He made an impact in pre-season, we were really enthusiastic about him. Then he had a small issue, with the national team, but he’s back now. He was not 100 per cent fit because he came back early, but now he is good to go and we are really happy that he’s part of our team.”
Minamino has featured in 31 games for Liverpool, scoring four goals and providing two assists. The 26-year-old has remained an unused substitute in the Reds’ first four games of the new campaign.
The assistant coach continued:
"Jurgen said, ‘Wow, the amount of times Taki comes one-v-one against the goalkeeper.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it shows you don’t need super, super speed to come one-v-one with the goalkeeper.’ He is a very natural, intelligent mover.
"That’s what we need; we needed it already in the last games. He has this good timing to move in behind, good combination play when the players are close to him.
"He only can become better. That’s what we like, that’s why we brought him in at that time – because we saw the potential, not the end product."
Minamino hopes to be included in Liverpool’s lineup for their Carabao Cup battle against Norwich City on Tuesday. The Reds will then take on Brentford in their next league game on Saturday.
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