Saturday, December 3, 2022

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants Takumi Minamino in his team next season.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants Takumi Minamino in his team next season.

The Japan international spent the second half of the last campaign with Southampton.

According to reports from Liverpool Echo. Jurgen Klopp plans to have Takumi Minamino in his squad next season.

That’s despite there being plenty of interest in Minamino, too. Still, Klopp wants to ignore it – at least at first – and plans to have the player with him.

Minamino spent last season with Southampton from February onwards, of course. He returns to Liverpool this season and, it seems, will have a place.

In his first half-season, Minamino started just two Premier League matches and was a sub in eight. He then largely matched that in his second half-season but with one fewer sub appearance.

In total, Klopp had Minamino for a full calendar year but only gave him 532 Premier League minutes. That doesn’t look sound.

But the Echo’s report suggests that Klopp merely believes the environment hasn’t been right. Minamino originally joined a team that was set in its ways and that didn’t give him much of a look-in.

Then he didn’t get a decent pre-season a year ago because of the absurd year.

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Last season, injuries meant Klopp dipped into players he fully trusted, again robbing Minamino of regular game-time. But that could all change this summer.

Returning players should mean Klopp trusts Minamino a little more. On top of that, he’ll have his first true pre-season with Liverpool this summer. The Reds hold, says the Echo, that the player will benefit greatly from both.

If they’re right, perhaps he can finally be the player Liverpool wanted when they signed him.

He did grab two Premier League goals, though both came in a two-week period inside his first month with the Saints. There wasn’t too much after that.

Still, that is an improvement on what we saw with Liverpool. The big concern will be that it was a learning experience above all. That Minamino can return to the Reds a slightly better player or one who knows his task a little better.

It’s not much, admittedly, and the loan could have gone better. But if Klopp is right about pre-season making a difference, we’ll likely look back on the deal as a positive experience for all.

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants Takumi Minamino in his team next season.

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