Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino started in place of Mo Salah in the Merseyside derby yesterday but the Japanese international lasted just 45 minutes before being replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
It was a difficult evening for every Reds player as they looked to shake off the rustiness of not playing a competitive game for three months. However, fans on Twitter felt Minamino struggled to make an impact on the right-hand side:
bang average. easily bullied off the ball and cant even shoot
— FSG OUT (@LFC_Brett) June 21, 2020
Not a winger. Hasnt the strength
— Keano (@KeanoMMA) June 21, 2020
Needs game time defo not a winger tho.
— KLOPP'S REDVOLUTION *19🏆⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (@are_places) June 21, 2020
He has to work on the physical conditions he has a lot to learn
— 𝗪𝗔𝗞𝗔𝗡𝗘 𝙻.𝙵𝙲🔴🦍 (@blackemir1) June 21, 2020
I felt he was confused. Moving to center circle more than the wing.
— Batir Wardam (@batirw) June 21, 2020
He's not a winger, but did so much better than Ox
— Road2number20* (@road2number7) June 21, 2020
He was a bit nervous with the ball today. Hopefully in upcoming matches he improves 🙂
— LaZeR🔴🏆 (@AbdullahRehman_) June 21, 2020
Lightweight for the prem
— Henry 🔴 (@lfchenryy) June 21, 2020
Did ok but it's going to take a good while for him to get to the level needed in our league and for Klopp to mould him into the player he can be
— RedJD77-78-81-84-05-19 (@RedsfanJD) June 21, 2020
Minamino did play regularly on the right side of midfield for Red Bull Salzburg, but manager Jurgen Klopp has generally used the 25-year-old as a replacement for Roberto Fimino so far in his brief Anfield career.
The Japanese midfielder may have not been unfamiliar with the role he started in at Goodison Park but he didn’t seem to quite fit in the system, coming deep for the ball and moving centrally too often and congesting the middle of the pitch.
We are likely to see Minamino on a regular basis over the coming weeks and supporters will be hoping for some improved displays when he gets up to speed.