‘We need him desperately’ – Jurgen Klopp Stresses Importance Of Liverpool Forward. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp concedes that attacker Takumi Minamino is “desperately” needed to compensate for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s absences.
The Reds coach is counting on Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, and a fit-again Minamino with two of his first-choice front line away for a month at the Africa Cup of Nations with Divock Origi still ailing.
The Japan international has nine goals in 45 appearances, while two-thirds of those goals have come in only five Carabao Cup matches, with the tournament providing the 26-year-old with his greatest chances since joining from RB Salzburg two years ago.
Minamino has only made four Premier League starts for the club – he has more (nine) for Southampton during a loan stint in the second part of last season – but he appears ready to play a key role in the coming weeks.
Speaking to the media after the game, the Liverpool boss has stressed how vital Takumi Minamino is to his side with the absente of Mane and Salah who are out on national duty.
“Taki trained only twice after his injury, the game was part of his rehab. “He is back and is very, very important for us, especially now we have a lot of games coming up and we all know two of our main guys up front are not here.”
“I liked Taki a lot when he came on. He’s actually in a really good shape but, of course, the injury interrupted it slightly, that’s how it is.” “But now he’s back, it’s good and we need him desperately.”
Klopp on Minamino: "Taki was injured, that's all. Nothing serious but serious enough he was out. Not the longest rehab in his life. He's back and is important to us. We know 2 of our main guys up front are not here. I liked Taki a lot when he came on. We need him desperately."
— Paul Gorst (@ptgorst) January 9, 2022
With Salah and Mane out until next month, the pressure will be on Minamino, Firmino, and 17-year-old Kaide Gordon, who scored in their latest FA Cup encounter.
While none of these players can replace the aforementioned combination, everyone has their unique set of skills that can propel the Reds ahead in these trying times. Liverpool will face Arsenal in the Carabao Cup on Thursday.