Takumi Minamino has shared an insight on his experience of working under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, praising the 56-year-old for his man management skills.
The Japanese forward was brought to Anfield midway through the title-winning 2019/20 campaign but made only five Premier League starts for the Reds (WhoScored) before he left for Monaco in June 2022.
Despite not getting much of a look-in on Merseyside, though, the 28-year-old only has good things to say about how his former boss dealt with players.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Minamino said of Klopp: “He always spoke with everyone, even with those who didn’t play. For me, this is what makes him such a respected and fair coach towards his players. He manages to get everyone’s motivation intact, even the substitutes’.”
Two things can be inferred from Minamino’s comments on Klopp. The first is that it shows just how warm a character the German has been at Liverpool, showing huge respect to everyone in the squad irrespective of whether they’re a first-team stalwart or someone on the periphery of the action.
It also reflects well on the Japan international that, even though he rarely started at Anfield, he holds the manager in extremely high regard. Other players in his situation could easily have sulked or gone running to the media to take aim at the 56-year-old.
The Monaco winger was never quite able to truly break into a famed front three which, more than not during his time at the club, comprised Mo Salah, Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane.
However, he played a vital role in Liverpool winning the Carabao Cup in his final season with us, scoring four goals en route to the triumph over Chelsea at Wembley (WhoScored), including the last-gasp equaliser against Leicester in a dramatic quarter-final.
Even if he wasn’t able to properly establish himself at Anfield, Minamino deserves to be remembered warmly for his indefatigable attitude and work rate, and it seems there was plenty of respect between him and Klopp when they were both at the club.
He’s had a fantastic start to the season at Monaco, with three goals in his first five Ligue 1 games (WhoScored), and we’d love to see him continue to rip it up for Adi Hutter’s side throughout the campaign!