Jurgen Klopp has heaped enormous praise on Takumi Minamino – as quoted by Goal – after the Japanese playmaker scored twice during Liverpool’s 7-2 win over League One side Lincoln City in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
Klopp made 10 changes from the side that earned a comfortable 2-0 win over Chelsea, as the German boss combined a mix of experienced fringe players with young, exuberant talent. Virgil van Dijk was the only player to keep his place.
Liverpool ran rampant. Minamino and Curtis Jones both nabbed themselves a brace – with the former RB Salzburg star’s first goal arguably the pick of the bunch. Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Grujic and Divock Origi also scored.
Minamino has endured a stuttering start since joining Liverpool in January, but has started this campaign in blistering form – netting three goals in three appearances. Klopp was full of praise for the playmaker after his display.
“I loved Taki’s game tonight, to be honest – it was absolutely outstanding and involved in so many situations,” Klopp said. “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.
“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.”
TBR’s view – Minamino could be Liverpool’s secret weapon
With the Reds bringing in Diogo Jota and Thiago, the Reds have certainly boosted their bid to win a second successive Premier League title. But when Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are unavailable, Liverpool may need more than just Jota.
Minamino seems to be more and more at home with every Liverpool touch and although it was against a third-tier side, his performance was sublime. The 22-time international’s increased form could prove to be a secret weapon going forward.