Takumi Minamino’s struggles in his newest Liverpool outing had been right down to Jurgen Klopp’s resolution to play him on the best of the entrance three, in response to Kop icon John Barnes.
The Japanese worldwide began alongside Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in assault towards Everton on Sunday, with a not-fully-fit Mohamed Salah solely a substitute.
Firmino began in his acquainted central function with Mane working from the left, leaving Minamino to fill Salah’s right-sided function.
But Minamino lasted simply 45 minutes at Goodison, struggling to make any impression throughout the goalless draw earlier than being hooked on the break.
There had been some sensible touches, however the January signing from Salzburg is but to point out his greatest in a Reds shirt.
And Barnes believes that Klopp can’t merely shoehorn him into the lineup to get him up to the mark.
The former Liverpool and England midfielder feels that Minamino merely does not have the velocity required to wreck on opponent when coming in from the flank.
Rather, he believes that until Minamino is deputising centrally for Firmino, or is enjoying in a barely withdrawn function off the entrance, then Kop followers must wait a while to see something like his greatest.
“Minamino is an attacking midfielder or a No.10,” said Barnes, who is better qualified than most to comment on the requirements of shining from a wide berth at Anfield.
“When Liverpool play with Salah and [Sadio] Mane out wide, they stay wide or, if they come inside, they’re going to run directly at defenders with pace.
“Minamino hasn’t got that pace, he likes the ball to his feet.
“So does Firmino, so they’re really doing the same role, and that’s why I’m surprised he played.
“He [Klopp] needs to provide him time and confidence.
“But the relationship between the two full-backs and the two wide men cannot be underestimated and they haven’t got that [with him] yet.”
Despite substituting Minamino at half-time however, Reds boss Klopp insisted that he had been happy with his display.
On the topic of his substitution, and why the change was made on the break, the German stated: “Before the game I had the idea that I wanted to change really early and use the opportunities that five changes could give us.
“We thought why wait for tired legs when you can bring on five players.
“That didn’t work out 100 percent. Taki [Minamino] was in the game. At the beginning it was a bit difficult but then he was in the game.
“The change at half-time was a pure idea from me.
“It had nothing to do with Taki’s performance in the first half.”
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