Liverpool manager believes Takumi Minamino’s PL debut was ‘exceptional’ and revealed the playmaker was playing with a calf injury during Reds 2-1 win against Wolves.
Japan international, signed from Red Bull Salzburg, came off the bench earlier than expected when Sadio Mane, suffering from a hamstring issue, hobbled off after only 33 minutes and put in a solid display.
A late winner from Roberto Firmino secured all three points for the travelling Reds at Molineux, with Jordan Henderson and Wolverhampton centre-forward Raul Jimenez also getting on the scoresheet, to keep Reds 16 points clear of title rivals Man City with a match in hand.
It will be Roberto grabbing the headlines, but Jurgen reserved special praise for Takumi, who needed treatment on a calf problem at half-time. ‘Super,’ said Jurgen of his debut. ‘We had the situation that Mane goes off, we played tonight slightly different to usual. ‘We had to defend in a 4-4-2 then played offensive in our normal system.
If now Divock is coming on, who would deserve it, 100 per cent, because he is in incredible shape, it’s very offensive very early in the match. ‘Taki had now two or three weeks training with us, played different positions in training at least, played centrally in the FA Cup game, now played right and left-wing.
‘He can play that, we need him, but he is not a winger in this understanding, he’s a footballer for between the lines so Oxlade had then to be a bit higher so that we had still offered in behind, so we can still stretch the formation.