Jurgen Klopp gives his verdict on new Liverpool FC signing’s debut

Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp rates Takumi Minamino's

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp (Photo: New Balance)

Jurgen Klopp praised Takumi Minamino’s work-rate in Liverpool FC’s 1-0 win against Everton in the FA Cup third round at Anfield on Sunday.

The Reds were looking to book their place in the FA Cup fourth round draw despite fielding a weakened team against their derby rivals.

Minamino completed a £7.75m move to Liverpool FC from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg on 1 January after the Premier League leaders agreed to a deal last month.

Klopp opted to hand the Japan international a start in the Merseyside derby as the German head coach looked to rest some of his regular starters following a demanding festive schedule.

Minamino led Liverpool FC’s attack in the absence of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for the cup tie before being substituted in the 70th minute.

The Japanese star finished with one shot on goal and one successful dribble in a hard-working performance.

Speaking at his post-match media conference about Minamino’s debut in the FA Cup, Klopp said:

“Your first game in a team you don’t know, if it’s a settled team it’s already difficult – this team we threw more or less on the pitch with two sessions together.

“And then showing this kind of game understanding, football skills are exceptional, attitude is outstanding, led the chasing pack so often in different situations, which I loved.

“He didn’t look tired, but because we don’t know him that long we just wanted to save him a little bit, so took him off.”

He added: “It was a nice add-on to have [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] back, he looked pretty lively when he came on. He trained only one day, two days now, and that’s why he didn’t start. Super.”

Liverpool FC are sitting at the top of the Premier League table and 13 points ahead of their closest rivals Leicester City in the title race.

The Reds will take on Tottenham Hotspur at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday afternoon before a home clash against Manchester United a week later.

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