The Japanese FA have released Liverpool forward Taki Minamino from international duty after suffering “an injury”.
This comes from the Echo, with the publication claiming that the knock itself is not a major concern, with the forward having not played a part in the national side’s tie with Oman earlier in the week.
“Midfielder Takumi Minamino (Liverpool FC) has been withdrawn from the team due to an injury at SAMURAI BLUE, which is active for the Asian final qualifying (Road to Qatar) China national team match,” as read a statement from the Japanese FA. “We will inform you of additional convened players to replace Minamino as soon as they are decided.”
Given the club’s troubled relationship with international duty, however, it’s a development that will have certainly worried Jurgen Klopp and the coaching staff ahead of the return to domestic football.
Though few expect Minamino to seriously challenge for a starting spot in the side, the reality of our current circumstances mean that the 26-year-old is our only currently available backup alongside fellow out-of-favour forward Divock Origi.
Having shown some promising signs in pre-season, however, we shouldn’t be quick to draw conclusions around the Japanese international, particularly after having enjoyed limited time with Klopp’s squad.
Should the former RB Salzburg star demonstrate the same level of physicality he showcased prior to the resumption of domestic football, we’d certainly tip Minamino to grab some valuable minutes this season.