Owen Hargreaves told Optus Sport’s The Analysis Show that Takumi Minamino has a “perfect” opportunity to set a marker for Liverpool in the absence of Diogo Jota.
Minamino, 25, scored his first Premier League goal for the Reds during a 7-0 defeat against Crystal Palace – Liverpool’s biggest away win in their history.
Just over a year after he signed a contract with RB Salzburg for a favorable 7.25 million pounds [BBC], Minamino is finally starting to look calm in his role with the English champions.
The Japanese international started his indifferent life in Liverpool. Before the clash in the palace, he had only 190 minutes of top-notch action.
With Jota being out of action until February due to a knee injury, Minamino was given a great opportunity to lay claim to Liverpool’s front line.
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And Hargreaves believes this is a chance Minamino can’t afford to waste given the club he represents.
“I think he’s still trying to find his feet and find his role,” Hargreaves said. “When you play for this Liverpool team, you have to get numbers. To get numbers, you have to be a field. He is a really good player, he presses well, he takes the ball in a half-turn.
“He gets his chance because Jota is out there, he can play in the middle, like a fake nine or wider. He is not better than the front three from the middle of the field, he is a team player. If he plays in 20 games a season, he can be perfect. “
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Instead of acting nervous and disbelieving, Minamino had a point to prove and played with purpose and confidence.
His first strike in the English Premier League could not have been timed better, Minamino opened the opener at Selhurst Park in three minutes.
This obviously made Minamino a good world and felt like a big weight off the player’s shoulders. As a result, he played with much more confidence and authority while Liverpool led the riots in the capital.
Jurgen Klopp deserves tremendous credit. It was a brave call from the manager to include Minamino in Liverpool’s starting XI, especially considering that he was chosen to start ahead of Mohamed Salah.
At just 25, the best is still ahead of him.
The schedule is still coming thick and fast for the Reds. Klopp has shown faith that while he may be someone who is misused, he is the player he trusts the most.
Let’s hope Minamino continues to justify his manager’s unwavering show of faith.
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