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“He has qualities”: Football pundit backs this Liverpool star to replace Mane or Firmino if they leave

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Takumi Minamino backed to replace Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino at Liverpool

Takumi Minamino is ready to replace Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino if either of them leaves Liverpool, according to Kevin Phillips (h/t Express).

Minamino signed for Liverpool from RB Salzburg in the January transfer window. The Japanese international cost the club a modest £7.25m in transfer fees.

Since arriving though, Minamino hasn’t been able to carve out a place for himself in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI. Indeed, the 25-year-old has featured just seven times since arriving at Anfield. He hadn’t started a single Premier League game prior to the season getting suspended.

Minamino joined Liverpool in January

Takumi Minamino joined Liverpool in January

However, Kevin Phillips believes that our manager Klopp has done the right thing by integrating him slowly into things (h/t Express).

The pundit acknowledged that it would be difficult for any player to dislodge our current front three of Mo Salah, Firmino and Mane. But he went on to add that if either of Mane or Firmino leaves, Minamino is capable of stepping into their shoes (h/t Express).

“He is one of those that Klopp has in place if Sadio Mane was to leave or Firmino. You have to be patient. He looks like he has qualities.”

Minamino hasn’t been able to showcase his best qualities at Liverpool. The 25-year-old has looked out of sync with his teammates when he has taken the field.

Takumi Minamino

Minamino hasn’t hit the ground running at Liverpool

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But his capabilities cannot be doubted. Prior to joining Liverpool, Minamino had managed 9 goals and 11 assists in just 22 appearances for Salzburg. Given time to adjust, he should prove to be a brilliant acquisition for us in the long run.

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