We have very high hopes for Takumi Minamino long-term, but it’s been hard for the Japanese international to hit the ground running since his January arrival.
Liverpool poached Taki from Rb Salzburg after he dropped jaws in both Champions League matches against us before Christmas, but the Anfield faithful have had very limited opportunities to see what he can do to date.
In fairness, Jurgen Klopp rightly selects Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah as his starting front-three, and there’s only a handful of players worldwide who’d automatically break into that.
As a result, most of Minamino’s chances have come alongside our rotated XI and not our best attackers who’d help him tenfold.
Jesse Marsch, Salzburg boss, has encouraged us to be patient with the 25-year-old.
“When I came [to the club], I knew he was going to be a big part of what we were about. He’s smart, very clever,” said the American told ESPN FC.
“He’s not pure explosive but he understands football, he understands how to make final plays and tactics.
“What you have in Liverpool is so many talented and experienced players that play ahead of him, so it might take a while for Taki to establish himself in that group.
“I think over time, they’re going to figure out more and more and more that he can play almost any of the front six positions for Liverpool.
“Because he’s so smart and clever, he’ll figure things out and get better as he goes.
“I’ve heard that in training he’s done really well and they’ve been really impressed, but in games it just hasn’t come together for him.
“It might take a little bit of time, but knowing Taki he’s a guy who has so much drive and will find a way to get better every day. It’ll only be a matter of time.”
Marsch’s comments make perfect sense. We were most impressed with Minamino in the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea – and reckon that once we get the Premier League title wrapped up – Klopp will feel more comfortable playing him the outset.
It would be nice to see him score a few goals, or set a couple up in some winning performances, which should massively help him going into the summer and next season.