Skip to main content

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Takumi Minamino had a "super start" to his Premier League career

Takumi Minamino

Jurgen Klopp has praised Takumi Minamino for his performance in Thursday's 2-1 victory over Wolves.

Goals from Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino re-established Liverpool's 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Minamino entered the fray as a first-half substitute after Sadio Mane was taken off with a muscular injury.

And Klopp says he was impressed by how the Japan international, who joined the club from Red Bull Salzburg earlier this month, handled the occasion on what was his first appearance in England's top tier.

"With Taki we have to think about what we do exactly now because yesterday he played much longer than we thought," he said when asked if Minamino might start against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup this weekend.

"But yesterday night was a big step for him. For nobody yesterday on the pitch was it a game like where you have to shine and make your best game ever and stuff like this. 

"When you come in as a new player in this kind of a battle and then showing up like he did, not with his skills – what he obviously has in different departments of the game – [but] with his mentality and character. 

"He was fighting like crazy and closed gaps, was involved in a lot of situations. That was just a super start, to be honest. 

"Is it his 100% position? Yes, he can play that. How I said, he's pretty versatile so he can play different positions. For yesterday night, it was exactly what he had to do and he did it. That was much more important than the next game. 

"I have to see how he reacted now on the intensity of that game – I don't know him long enough in this part, so we have to see. But each game helps for sure.

"He's exactly the player we expected to get – super, super boy, super player.

"You saw so many things of his ability last night. This game last night was a proper fight and he was completely ready for that. 

"For him, [it's] still kind of a new environment with a new team and then really adapting. From a tactical point of view, it was an outstanding game. That's what we see in training. 

"In training then we see, of course, more of all the finishing stuff, the creating stuff. It's just the player we wanted and now he's ours."


It was only a draw – but was the comeback against Chelsea the sign of a new Arsenal?

Should Manchester United hire a director of football? 10 candidates they could consider

The paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?