Taki Minamino was exceptional last night as Liverpool downed Lincoln 7-2 in the EFL Cup.
He scored two, as did Curtis Jones, but we’d suggest the Japanese was just about the pick of our players.
Jurgen Klopp, judging by his praise for the January signing, maybe agrees. Interestingly, he also suggests Taki will always be a central player positionally – even when he starts him on the flanks.
“I loved Taki’s game tonight, to be honest – it was absolutely outstanding and involved in so many situations,” he told the official website.
“More and more, I think we all realise where his qualities are. Wherever he will play in the end, he will end up in the centre: if he plays on the left wing or the right wing, he will play in the half-spaces or the centre because that’s where he has his real strength. He looked really well. The opponent had to kick off seven times [after our goals] and the first guy who chased the opponent again when they received the pass was Taki. He set the rhythm for all these pressing and counter-pressing situations, so I really, really liked the game tonight.”
Diogo Jota also came on and seemed to do his best work in similar spaces, which gives the boss interesting options, especially as he also played Xherdan Shaqiri in a deeper midfield role.
Against Arsenal on Monday though, none of the three will start, and Klopp will return to his tried and trusted formulae.
Fabinho is likely to play alongside Virgil van Dijk in defence, which will allow Thiago, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum to make up the midfield three.
That means Naby Keita on the bench, but there’s a big chance the no.8 will get the nod instead of one of the aforementioned three instead.