‘He looks really different’: James Milner says Takumi Minamino ‘looks fantastic’ in training after benefiting from the suspension of the Premier League
- James Milner says the football hiatus has benefited Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino
- He says that Minamino ‘looked fantastic’ in training following the football break
- Milner believes the break has helped him settle in and find his feet at Liverpool
- He suggests that Minamino will have a big impact in their remaining games
- Manager Jurgen Klopp agrees, saying the 25-year-old ‘looks really different’
James Milner believes that Liverpool new boy Takumi Minamino has benefitted from the football hiatus having initially struggled to settle at Anfield.
The Japanese forward has mainly been used as a fringe player for Jurgen Klopp’s side, making seven appearances and clocking up 322 minutes.
However, Milner feels the suspension of the current campaign in March has helped Minamino settle into the club where he has now come back to training firing.
James Milner says the football hiatus has benefitted Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino (pictured)
The Liverpool vice-captain believes that Minamino could play a monumental role in the club’s remaining games.
‘Taki has looked fantastic coming back in,’ Milner told Goal. ‘This period might have helped him settle in, feeling like he’s been at the club longer than he has, really. It’s given him that extra time to get used to things.
‘It’s difficult coming in in the middle of a season, getting used to how a team plays. It’s hard to do that when you’re preparing for a game every three days. This period I’m sure will have helped him and hopefully he can have a positive impact.’
He says that Minamino ‘looked fantastic’ in training following the suspension of the league
Manager Jurgen Klopp agrees, saying it has ‘100 per cent’ helped as he ‘looks really different’
Jurgen Klopp, who is yet to start Minamino in a league game, agrees that the break has been transformational for the 25-year-old.
‘Oh yes, massively so,’ he said when asked if lockdown had been beneficial for Minamino. ‘With new players coming in, usually we say the first two, three, four months we don’t judge’, he said at a virtual pre-match press conference from Melwood on Friday.
‘But I know the public does and that means that we have to always explain why it’s not like this, why it’s not like that.
Klopp and Milner believe that Minamino will play an important role in their remaining games
‘The more time you have, for whatever reason, the better it is. And now we had four weeks, which is by the way the longest pre-season I had with any Liverpool side all together. That’s a massive difference.
‘It helped Taki, 100 per cent, he looks really different in the moment than to the first three weeks when he tried to please everybody and do everything we say in a language he’s not 100 per cent comfortable with.’
Liverpool are set to play nine games in the next six weeks as they sit 22 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City.
Klopp’s men, who have dropped just five of a possible 87 points during the season, need just six more points win the Premier League.