Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Takumi Minamino will be in the squad for Everton‘s visit on Sunday, but insisted that he will need time to settle at Liverpool.
Liverpool’s latest addition officially became a Liverpool player at the turn of the new year after four years with Salzburg, with the Reds activating his £7.25 million release clause.
Minamino, who will don the No. 18 shirt, took part in his first training session with the team on Tuesday as Klopp’s side continued their preparations for the visit of Sheffield United on Thursday.
And while the Japan international will not be able to feature as the Reds look to notch their 19th league win of the season due to Premier League regulations, his new manager simply encouraged Minamino to play his natural game while he adjusts to the demands of Liverpool’s style of play.
“He was here yesterday, had a light session, enjoyed it a lot, boys were incredible with him. Sadio and Naby, those with Salzburg genetic, it was really nice,” Klopp told reporters.
“If I was to be a new player I’d love to be one in this group as they welcome you with welcome arms, that’s really nice.
“I think he felt it, he wasn’t surprised by that. Communication wise is really good – his English is absolutely OK but his German is really good, it doesn’t help the team much but we can talk.
“We signed the player he was at Salzburg so that means he doesn’t have to change in the moment just be who you are and then we will start working on that and I look forward to it.
“Of course [he will come into contention for Everton.] He’s not allowed [on Thursday], don’t know exactly why.”
With matchday 21 inhibiting any side from fielding a newly signed player, the 24-year-old is set to make his debut against Everton in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
And while many are excited to see Minamino hit the ground running at Anfield, Klopp is eager for onlookers to give him the time he needs to settle as he cannot predict when he will be a “finished article.”
“Not really [any way to fast track his development], that’s the little talk we had. I told him that we signed the Minamino from Salzburg, the guy that played against us like crazy and so just be that and everything is fine,” he continued.
“We will see how he fits in but in this period of the season it will not be after 15 weeks when we use him, but is he a finished article in March? I don’t know.
“We will start learning about each other from now on and he will have all the time he needs, how much he’ll need I have no idea. But it would be nice if people could give him some time.
“We have a really good football team already and he’s an offensive player and offensively we have some of the best players in the world.
“But we didn’t bring him in to accept, ‘I’m five, six or whatever in line’ – he can play different positions and we have many options with him.”
Klopp also provided an insight into his first training session on Tuesday, as while he does speak some English, he was seemingly provided with a crash course from the British brigade.
“We want to use his natural skills, we don’t want to give him a lot of information immediately,” Klopp added.
“He’s a super kid, we knew that before. He was a player of my former player, Marco Rose, so I spoke to him about it and he was very positive about him.
“He will learn English really quick I’m sure, he already speaks a bit.
“Yesterday he was in a rondo with all the English guys and there was a lot of talk, but I’m not sure he got a word as when Milner, Robertson and Trent speak to each other I’m not sure any English guy would understand that!
“But he will adapt 100 percent. Yesterday was the start and now we can work.”