With Sadio Mane potentially out, Takumi Minamino will prove his worth
Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of Sadio Mane following their win over Wolves in midweek.
The flying winger pulled up with what looked like an injured hamstring. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, has since confirmed that he hopes the injury is nothing serious.
However, with a busy run of fixtures coming up for the Reds before the international break, Mane will be a loss for Liverpool.
That loss and blow, though, can be cushioned with the fact that the Reds moved to sign Takumi Minamino in the January window.
The Japanese attacker has made a good start to life at Anfield. He’s showed bags of energy in his opening few appearances and looks like fitting right in with Liverpool’s high-intensity style.
In fact, he has already won the praise of Klopp. The German manager praising his new signing after the win over Wolves.
A perfect signing
In a season where everything Jurgen Klopp touches seems to turn to gold, this could prove another timely masterstroke.
Prior to joining Liverpool, Minamino had scored five times and set up six in the Bundesliga. While that’s not quite on the level of Mane’s stats (11 goals and six assists this season), it’s not a bad replacement.
Crucially, too, Minamino will have a point to prove at Anfield. With an attacking trio that picks itself most weeks, he’ll be desperate to prove he can step in and contribute.
His versatility means he can easily slot in for Mane. At around £7.5m, it could well prove to be one of Klopp’s better buys in the last few years.
Shoes to fill
Of course, Sadio Mane is an exceptional talent and footballer. 22 Premier League goals last season helped him towards winning the African Player of the Year award.
But in Takumi Minamino, the Reds have got themselves what appears to be the perfect squad player.
As mentioned, he’s already proven he knows where the back of the net is over in Germany.
The Senegalese star will be a miss for Liverpool if he is indeed injured. However, as one star falls, another has the chance to rise and it could well be Minamino’s moment.
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