Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino has said that he wants to become a vital figure in Jurgen Klopp’s team as he approaches his peak.
The Japan international made headlines when moving to Anfield in January 2020 from RB Salzburg. He was the only signing of that window amid calls for further new arrivals.
And while he has endured a mixed time of his Liverpool spell, he has enjoyed standout moments.
One of those came on Wednesday when he scored a stoppage-time equaliser against Leicester to keep the Reds in the Carabao Cup quarter-final tie.
Liverpool went on to win the shootout, later drawing Arsenal in the semi-final. While Minamino has struggled for Premier League action, he has made the Carabao Cup his own. He has netted four goals in three matches.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official matchday programme, the 26-year-old admitted that he feels frustrated over his level of minutes. However, he vowed to use it as motivation to put in more standout performances.
“As a player I always want to play every match,” the forward said. “I think a kind of frustration is common for the players (who don’t play) but I like to turn this frustration into positiveness with my attitude.
“I put in a lot of effort every day to play more and to get game time, I want to play more games and I want to prove to myself that I can do much better, so I use my frustration to turn everything positive.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for Camavinga
Liverpool have been linked with a move for the Real Madrid midfielder
“The manager always tries to keep the players’ motivation higher. When I’m not playing in a match he always speaks to me and helps keep my motivation high.
“He is always very fair to every player so I quite admire his management skills.”
Overall, Minamino has played 44 matches for Liverpool, scoring nine goals and assisting three others.
However, his contract runs until the summer of 2024 and so he has stressed that he has plenty of time to go into his peak with strong form.
Minamino plotting more Liverpool success
“As a footballer the ages between 26 and 30 are your best time, the time when you can play at your peak as a player,” he added.
“For myself at these ages I would like to play as many games as possible, but I am at the best club in the world and I can spend the best time of my career at this club.
“As I have said before, I would like to contribute to this club as much as possible. That is the best thing I can do.”
Liverpool return to action on Tuesday when facing Leicester in the Premier League.