Alan Shearer says it will be hard for Liverpool new boy Takumi Minamino to earn a regular starting spot under Jurgen Klopp.
The £7.25million signing from Red Bull Salzburg had his first training session with his new team-mates last Tuesday,but was not eligible for Thursday’s Premier League match at home to Sheffield United because of registration regulations.
However, Klopp threw him into the starting line-up in the FA Cup win over Everton and the Japan international lasted 70 minutes before being replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“Super, outstanding. Exactly the player we wanted, exactly the player we wished for,” was Klopp’s verdict on Minamino’s debut, and Shearer believes he will fit in perfectly to Klopp’s side, if he is afforded the opportunities.
“He scored [at Anfield against Liverpool], 24 years of age,” Shearer said on the BBC.
“When you look at the price that they’ve paid for him, just over £7m was his release clause, he’ll fit perfectly I think into this Liverpool team – It’s going to be very difficult to get into it.
“In terms of where he plays he can play anywhere along that forward line.
“He’s already got nine goals this season so what an opportunity for him, starting with today.”
In Friday’s Melwood press conference Klopp pleaded for the media to give Minamino time to settle it.
“It would be crazy if you wouldn’t do that,” said Klopp
“That would be really nice if you could give him some time. We have a really good football team already and he’s an offensive player.
“I think it’s the same situation (as van Dijk). When he (VVD) came in I decided in the morning why not (play him) – let’s give it a try and it was a good decision.,” added Klopp.
“Takumi is here and had three sessions with the team. That’s not so much but it’s football. He kind of a time off when Salzburg had a winter break. We were not allowed to bring him here to train so he was back in Japan. He came here in good shape – let’s see.
“We signed the player, he was at Salzburg, so he doesn’t have to change in the moment, just be who you are and then we start working on that and I am looking forward to it.
“That’s what the little talk we had… we really signed Takumi Minamino from Salzburg, the guy who played against us like crazy. Just be that and everything will be fine.
“We have some of the best players in the world, but we didn’t bring him in to accept like ‘I am number five, six, seven or eight’.
“We start learning about each other from now on. He will have all the time he needs, but how much time he needs I have no idea.”