A rarely seen Liverpool star is in line for a second chance this coming season, though his redemption seemingly owes more to their transfer fears, per a report.
Liverpool are hoping to prove last season was a one-off with hopes high of once again challenging for the Premier League title this year. Issues at centre back hamstrung their efforts at every turn. Though with the arrival of French defender Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all returning from serious injuries, that problem has now been remedied.
How to fill the void left by Georginio Wijnaldum’s exit remains a mystery. The Reds have been linked with a host of star names, though little progress on any front has been made thus far.
Reinvigorating their once revered forward line will also be on the agenda after several attackers struggled mightily last term.
A recent report revealed Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri could finally be sacrificed. But with the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations due to take place mid-season, the Reds’ depth will be tested.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will likely be involved.Perhaps with that in mind, Jurgen Klopp is set to give forgotten man Takumi Minamino a chance to impress this year.
That is per Goal, who reveal Liverpool are ‘very reluctant to consider another loan move’.
The Japan international enjoyed some success on loan with Southampton last season. And per the report, Ralph Hasenhuttl is keen to bring him aboard once more.
Liverpool are deemed unwilling to sanction another loan deal, however. Furthermore, they fear there will be little to no interest emerging over a permanent exit.
That will be another factor behind their decision to keep Minamino around. And with Origi and Shaqiri tipped to leave and Salah and Mane facing an enforced absence, Klopp will be hoping his faith in the 26-year-old is not misplaced when given another chance to shine.
Liverpool man setting tone in pre-season
Meanwhile, Liverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders has revealed how Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed in pre-season training in Austria.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player with a point to prove ahead of next season. The 27-year-old struggled for game time last season after missing the first three months with a knee injury. Indeed, time on the sidelines has held him back at Anfield, amid flashes of form.
Per assistant boss Lijnders, however, Oxlade-Chamberlain has made a strong start to pre-season.
“We had a big focus on our set-pieces this morning,” the coach told Liverpool’s official website on Friday.
“In these training camps, it’s about not only about going back to basics, but also about putting in new ideas and make steps to evolve and become better.
“I also have to highlight that Ox has scored some absolute worldies in training in these last few days. You absolutely love to see it!”
Linjders then went on to reveal the details of a chat held between Salah and rising forward Harvey Elliot.