Jurgen Klopp is expecting Takumi Minamino to make giant strides with Liverpool this season after breaking his goal duck against Arsenal.
The Japan winger replaced Neco Williams after an hour at Wembley in the Community Shield and grabbed the Reds’ equaliser.
It was not enough to earn Liverpool more silverware though as they lost out in the penalty shoot-out, but Klopp thinks Minamino has all the attributes to be a big success.
The Reds boss did admit that it has been hard to give the 25-year-old much game time with Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in such good form.
Klopp said: “We have a good team and it is difficult to come into the team anyway. But he is a player who is really useful for us let me say like this.”
Minamino’s neat touch and smart finish at Wembley gave fans a glimpse of what he can bring to Liverpool and Klopp believes the attacker can have an impact at Anfield.
On Minamino’s performance, Klopp said: “It was not only the goal – he was in between, in close and small spaces he was really good, his first touch was exceptional, and his decision making between the lines really great.
“That helps as well. So he can be a real player for us, that was always clear.
“He came in in the most difficult period of all our lives I would say. He has had to adapt to different things being alone in England in the lockdown. That is something not nice.
“But he did really well with it as he is a super professional so I am really pleased for him that he could score and that is another big step for him.”
Minamino joined Liverpool in a bargain £7.25million deal in January from Red Bull Salzburg.
But he made just two Premier League starts and 10 appearances in the league as he found himself settling into a new country during a global pandemic.
Klopp tries to focus on Shield positives
Rhian Brewster was the only player to miss his spot kick after Liverpool had drawn 1-1 with Arsenal in normal time.
“For these type of games you need the final punch,” he told BT Sport.
“We created enough, had the ball quite a lot, but had to be careful of their counter-attack.
“We deserved the equaliser and could have scored more but we didn’t do that.
“When you play against a formation like this then you need to be really fresh in the final third and you need to force it, create angles.
“The rhythm for that fell a little bit. Today it was not enough.”