Liverpool need to get Minamino ready for star forward's absences
Minamino needs minutes to star in Salah and Mane absences.
The Reds’ Japanese international is an impressive player but he doesn’t feature regularly under Jurgen Klopp.
Takumi Minamino is yet to play a minute in the Premier League so far this season.
However, come January both Sadio Mane and Mo Salah will be leaving Liverpool for the African Cup of Nations.
When the pair leave Anfield, Minamino will be required to step up.
It would be incredibly harsh on the Japanese star to be expected to come in and do that without getting regular minutes beforehand.
Klopp is stuck in his ways when it comes to his front line and doesn’t often rotate.
In the Premier League it’s three of Salah, Mane, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino often trusted.
That leaves the likes of Minamino and Divock Origi struggling for minutes.
The 26-year-old has played and scored this season.
In a Carabao Cup game he scored twice against Norwich, yet even that hasn’t forced Klopp’s hand.
Minamino needs minutes to star in Salah and Mane absences
The next few weeks should be telling for Minamino.
The Reds need to start utilising their wildcard star.
There are just a couple of months between now and the start of the African continental competition.
That gives Klopp enough of a chance to get some minutes into the legs of his £75k-a-week star (Spotrac).
However, he needs to start soon.
If the Anfield squad man can get himself some minutes and goals then the fans will certainly have more confidence in him in January.
Whatever happens, this season is a great opportunity for Liverpool to regain the title.
To do it, though, they can’t afford for their levels to drop even in Salah and Mane’s absences.
That will certainly bring pressure on Minamino.
Given his scoring record when he does get minutes, it’s just up to Klopp to ensure that Minamino is in a position to help his side.