Klopp hints he has reached decision over Minamino’s Liverpool future

Takumi Minamino has struggled to establish himself in Jurgen Klopp’s plans since joining the club nearly 12 months ago.

Minamino was snapped up by Liverpool from Red Bull Salzburg last January after impressing against the Reds at Anfield in the Champions League.

Initially signed as an attacker, the Japanese ace has failed to break into Klopp’s starting line-up and now found himself overtaken by summer signing Diogo Jota in the pecking order.

But he might now have found a new role – with Klopp hinting he sees his future in a more central midfield position.

Minamino started against Midtjylland in the Reds’ final Champions League group game as part of a midfield three with Naby Keita and Leighton Clarkson.

Jurgen Klopp stated Takumi Minamino “looked better” in his second game in central midfield

He was tasked with getting forward to support the front-three and believed he had found a last-gasp winner only for the goal to be harshly ruled out for offside.

It was the second time Minamino has featured in the role having started in the same role in their recent game at Brighton in the Premier League.

He was withdrawn on the hour mark on that occasion – but Klopp singled out Minamino and his improvement in a hint that he could persist with him in that role moving forwards.

Klopp said: “Different halves. I liked the football first half, how they adapted.

“Taki played for the second time in that position. Looked much better.

HERNING, DENMARK – DECEMBER 09: (THE SUN OUT,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT)Takumi Minamino of Liverpool with Alexander Scholz during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between FC Midtjylland and Liverpool FC at MCH Arena on December 09, 2020 in Herning, Denmark. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

“Big chances which we could have used better. We wanted to build but it didn’t work out.”

Klopp was also left frustrated by Minamino’s disallowed goal, which denied them victory on the night having already assured their spot at the top of the group.

He added: ”I haven’t seen it back but it took too long and it was really cold. It’s really hard.

“I used to be one of the people who said VAR is a good idea but I’m not sure I’d say that again.”

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