Having seen their club sign Takumi Minamino in the January transfer window, Liverpool fans have had very little sighting of the Japan international.
The 25-year-old has managed just four appearances across all competitions for the Reds, playing just 221 minutes of total football for the club.
Understandably, Jurgen Klopp is perhaps reluctant to make any significant changes to his starting line-up, given that the Merseyside outfit are in rampant form and are closing in on the Premier League title.
But whilst that may be the case, Minamino’s performances at RB Salzburg suggest that he could add a touch of magic to the Liverpool team in these final few months of the season.
Prior to his move to Anfield, the 25-year-old struck nine times in 22 games for the Austrian side, including providing eight assists.
His ability to play all across the front-line, means he would slot in seamlessly into anywhere amongst Liverpool’s attack, and could dove-tail well with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. He could either join them in a mouth-watering four-man combination, or potentially even replace one of them and allow them to simultaneously have a rest too.
And with the Premier League title almost being sewn up – the Reds currently find themselves a staggering 22 points clear of second-placed Manchester City – there is a real opportunity for Klopp to be more experimental with his formation and team selection.
Minamino could be the man to benefit the most from that, as his versatility would allow him to be a perfect fit in numerous different set-ups. His average of 2.8 shots and two key passes per game in the six Champions League group stage fixtures that he played in whilst at Salzburg, suggests that this is someone who is keen to be at the heart of the attacking side of the game.
In fact, Sadio Mane – who has enjoyed a remarkable campaign this year with 17 goals across all competitions – has only managed 1.9 key passes per match in the Champions League. That in itself goes to show how creative Minamino can be, and why he could be an important facilitator for the rest of the Reds attack.
Klopp unleashing him would be Liverpool making the most out of a secret weapon, as very few sides in the Premier League will have faced him before. That unpredictability and mystery surrounding the £11.25m-rated ace could work out to the Merseyside club’s huge advantage.