Of all the Liverpool players, we can imagine it’s been most difficult for Takumi Minamino during football’s absence.
The Japanese arrived in the country on his own, and won’t have a network around him – and obviously due to the lockdown – won’t have had the possibility of growing one socially, either.
In the Sunday Times, reporter James Gheerbrant spoke to Oliver Kirch, an ex-Jurgen Klopp player at Borussia Dortmund, who said how Taki has missed some key development months.
“It would be very hard for (Minamino),” says Kirch. “You need four or five months to internalise this style of football, before you feel fully integrated. He played a similar style at Salzburg, with a similar intensity and counter-pressing. But Liverpool is another level. The question is whether he can catch up.”
While we agree with the idea that Minamino’s settling in period into English life cannot have been more abstract, the fact he’s had a mini pre-season with Klopp and his new team-mates before our first game back on June 21 will be massively beneficial…
We don’t expect Minamino to start imminently, but the 25-year-old will hopefully have more chances off the bench as teams are allowed five subs instead of three and Klopp may be more inclined to use his bench once the title is wrapped up.