Football News

“Exactly the player we wanted” – Klopp praises Minamino for Liverpool debut

By CJ Smith


Published: 18:06, 6 January 2020

Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Takumi Minamino after impressing on his Liverpool debut on Sunday.

The Japan international recently sealed a £7.25m move from RB Salzburg to Anfield and was given his first taste of action in a red shirt as Liverpool overcame Merseyside rivals Everton 1-0 in the FA Cup.

Takumi Minamino’s Liverpool debut in numbers: Five key stats…

  • Touches of the ball: 33
  • Total shots: 1
  • Pass success: 82%
  • Dribbles completed: 1
  • Happy managers: 1 – as Jurgen Klopp hailed his “outstanding” display.

Minamino lasted for 70 minutes of the derby clash and left the pitch to a standing ovation from the Anfield faithful.

Following the match, Klopp described Minamino’s performance as “outstanding”, going on to say the 24-year-old is “exactly the player he wished for”.

“He was super, outstanding, exactly the player we wanted, exactly the player we wished for,” Klopp said.

“In your first game for a team you don’t know, it’s not a settled team, it’s already difficult.”

Klopp then explained that he was particularly impressed with how Minamino bedded into what was essentially a second-string Liverpool team made up of youngsters and fringe players.

“This team we threw together on the pitch with basically two sessions together, to show this sort of understanding, his football skills were exceptional and his attitude was outstanding,” he added.

“He led the chasing pack so often. He didn’t look tired, but we don’t know the player that well yet so we took him off.”

With Liverpool safely through to the FA Cup fourth round, attention now turns back to their Premier League title charge.

The Reds currently sit 13 points clear of second-placed Leicester City with a game in hand, but face Tottenham Hotspur away and Manchester United at home in their next two fixtures.