Jurgen Klopp predicts impact Takumi Minamino can have for Liverpool in new season

Jurgen Klopp believes Takumi Minamino is ready to make a huge impact for Liverpool this season.

Japan winger Minamino, 25, joined Liverpool in a bargain £7.25million deal in January and found himself settling into a new country and at a club during a global pandemic.

Liverpool boss Klopp believes Minamino has got all of the attributes to really make a mark this term and showed at Wembley his class with his first goal for the club.

Inevitably, Minamino will be seen as the support act and back-up for Liverpool’s front three of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, but still looks ready to get some minutes.

Klopp said: “We have a good team and it is difficult to come into the team anyway. But he is a player who is really useful for us let me say like this.”

On Minamino’s performance in the Community Shield, Klopp said: “It was not only the goal – he was in between, in close and small spaces he was really good, his first touch was exceptional, and his decision making between the lines really great.

“He came in in the most difficult period of all our lives I would say. He has had to adapt to different things being alone in England in the lockdown. That is something not nice.

“But he did really well with it as he is a super professional so I am really pleased for him that he could score and that is another big step for him.”

Klopp also believes Minamino’s first goal for the club could also represent a major turning point in his first-team fortunes.

The manager added: “He can have an impact. That’s why we signed him. But after one or two good pre-season performances I don’t want to put massive pressure on his shoulders. There’s absolutely no need for that.

“It was big for him and for us. The only thing he lacked since he was with us is that he didn’t score a goal. He was close in plenty of moments but the shape he’s in is obviously good and everyone could see that when he came on.

“The goal is more or less the logical step up after performing at the level he performs now, especially in the pre-season.

“So I am very pleased for him. It was very important for us to stay in the game and for him just to make his first important step.”

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