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Jurgen Klopp hints Takumi Minamino brace has given Liverpool a new option

Takumi Minamino scored either side of a Divock Origi goal as Liverpool serenely progressed to the last-16 of the Carabao Cup with a 3-0 win over Norwich City

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp continues to ask for patience over Takumi Minamino

Takumi Minamino grabbed his Carabao Cup chance with both hands, with the Liverpool forward scoring twice in a 3-0 win over Norwich City.

The Japan international spent the second half of last season on loan with Southampton, having found opportunities difficult to come by at Anfield.

Since he returned to the club, Minamino has once again been forced to look on from the sidelines, failing to play a single minute in the first month of the new campaign.

With Klopp ringing the changes in the EFL Cup however, the 26-year-old was given an opportunity to impress Jurgen Klopp – and he certainly left a lasting impression.

Takumi Minamino scored twice as Liverpool beat Norwich 3-0 at Carrow Road

Minamino opened the scoring at Carrow Road after just four minutes, turning home a corner following a knock down from Divock Origi.

Origi went from provider to scorer to add the second, before Minamino rounded off the scoring with a deft finish that squirmed its way past Angus Gunn.

Klopp hinted after the win that Minamino proved that not only could he play as a forward, he could be an option in midfield, dropping in effectively.

“Taki played a really top game we brought him into the midfield in the second half because it was in a good moment,” Klopp explained.

“He dropped in right spaces and was involved in all the passes with Tyler [Morton], Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] could then use his speed and first line top goals from Taki – really smart, really aware and the second I don’t even know how the ball went in.”

Jurgen Klopp suggested Minamino could be an option for Liverpool in midfield



Klopp’s assistant Pep Ljinders offered an insight into why Minamino had struggled for minutes after picking up an injury on international duty.

“He came back and had a complete, full pre-season with us training-wise,” Ljinders said. “He made an impact in pre-season, we were really enthusiastic about him. Then he had a small issue, with the national team, but he’s back now.

“He was not 100 per cent fit because he came back early, but now he is good to go and we are really happy that he’s part of our team.

He continued: “Jurgen said, ‘Wow, the amount of times Taki comes one-v-one against the goalkeeper.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it shows you don’t need super, super speed to come one-v-one with the goalkeeper.’ He is a very natural, intelligent mover.

“That’s what we need; we needed it already in the last games. He has this good timing to move in behind, good combination play when the players are close to him.

“He only can become better. That’s what we like, that’s why we brought him in at that time – because we saw the potential, not the end product.”

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