We’ve always been very impressed whenever hearing Rb Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch talk football.
The American has created a very impressive, offensive side in Austria – one that definitely held their own in the Champions League.
So good were they before Christmas, Liverpool bought Takumi Minamino in January, while Borussia Dortmund purchased the jewell in their crown, Erling Haaland.
Taki hasn’t had much of a sniff with the Reds so far, but Marsch has urged fans to be patient – and discussed how Jurgen Klopp could get the best out of him in the future.
Interestingly, Marsch doesn’t think the Japan international has the physical traits to start on our flanks, as he lacks jaw-dropping speed, but does have the intelligence to be used as a false-9 or a roaming no.8.
“What you have right now at Liverpool is some of the best players in the world in this position,” Marsch told former EOTK writer Matt Addison for the Blood Red podcast.
“He is not a purely explosive player like Sadio Mane or Mo Salah – he has physical qualities, but he is a really intelligent footballer. It may take time for everyone to fully appreciate his qualities, but it will come.
“We’ve seen it here – his ability to understand tactical systems, his ability to find attacking moments, be good around the goal, it’s all good.
“He won’t be the best at playing the position that Salah and Sadio play, because they are used in very explosive transition movements.
“I think he could be good in Roberto Firmino’s position where against the ball, he is ready to do some pressing, but then with the ball, he comes into almost a 10 position for build-up and gets in the box to score goals.
“Firmino is so good at it but I think that’s something Taki can do as well.
“And I think he can play the eight position that they play in the midfield, with the two wide spots where he’s ready to press and help pick up balls, but he’s also part of the build-up phases.
“Because he is so intelligent, I think either Firmino or the positions alongside the six in the system that they play in Liverpool would be good for him.”
So far, Klopp has pretty much solely used Taki in rotation with Firmino – so we think that’s where the German sees his latest signing long-term.
It’s a shame the 25-year-old hasn’t hit the ground running, but we think when football returns, he could be one of the players to really benefit from a lengthy spell on the training field with his new team-mates.