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EPL attacker Minamino's best yet to come at Liverpool, says former coach 

Minamino has featured sparingly since joining Liverpool in January
Minamino has featured sparingly since joining Liverpool in January
Ashish Thomas
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 27 May 2020, 01:02 IST
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Red Bull Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch gives an insight into Japanese midfielder Takumi Minamino's future role at EPL leaders Liverpool. The American coach is still full of praise for his former player after his move to the EPL.

The pair remain in contact through text messages after the Japanese international's move to the Premier League.

Minamino's future impact in the EPL

While speaking on a Liverpool podcast, the Salzburg coach says that Minamino has deserved his move to the EPL.

 "What you have right now at Liverpool is some of the best players in the world in this position. Taki is still young and he will need to adapt."

He said that the Japanese player is adaptable to play in different positions.

"He is not a purely explosive player like Sadio Mane or Mo Salah - he has physical qualities, but he is a really intelligent footballer. It may take time for everyone to fully appreciate his qualities, but it will come."
"We’ve seen it here - his ability to understand tactical systems, his ability to find attacking moments, be good around the goal, it’s all good."

Minamino's fit in the EPL leader's dressing room

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Minamino warming up
Minamino warming up

Marsch spoke in detail about midfielder's personality and how it's suited to the EPL leaders' dressing room.

"He is a little quiet and he is not the most outgoing guy but he is a top, top class individual. He comes early and does work in the gym, he’s incredibly friendly with all of the players, and he is well-liked."
"He sees things quickly and he moves the ball quickly - that makes him a fun guy to play with because he understands the way the game works. He is happy [at Liverpool] - he has talked about training being good and the guys being good guys. Taki will only turn up every day and do everything possible to try to improve."

The American goes into how he's helped him get used to the atmosphere of the dressing room at Liverpool.

"We’ve texted and checked in on different things. I give him a hard time about learning better English because I had to learn so much German, and now it’s his turn to come to my side a little more!"
"But he knows nothing will be given to him but he is willing to work for whatever - that’s his mentality."

Minamino as a potential Firmino replacement for the EPL leaders

Minamino playing in FA Cup tie against Chelsea
Minamino playing in FA Cup tie against Chelsea

The American shed light on Japanese's role in the current EPL lineup for Liverpool. The midfielder got his move after impressing the EPL leaders during Red Bull Salzburg's Champions League run.

This prompted the move for midfielder by the EPL champions-to-be for a fee of £7.25 million. The American had this to say:

"We didn’t hear from Liverpool until after the first game [at Anfield, in October]. We are aware that Jurgen Klopp follows our club and our players and a lot of his philosophies are in line with how we play."
"So it makes sense that he is always keeping track of the players that come through Leipzig and Salzburg and play similar football."
"The thing that hurt with Taki is that Liverpool got him way, way, way too cheap. But this is part of managing the market and managing player contracts."

The American goes on to say that that he would perfect for the Firmino role.

"I think he could be good in Roberto Firmino's position where against the ball, he is ready to do some pressing, but then with the ball, he comes into almost a 10 position for build-up and gets in the box to score goals. Firmino is so good at it but I think that’s something Taki can do as well."
"And I think he can play the eight position that they play in the midfield, with the two wide spots where he’s ready to press and help pick up balls, but he’s also part of the build-up phases."
Published 27 May 2020, 01:02 IST
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