Takumi Minamino believes he must “win trust” with his performances, as Jurgen Klopp highlighted the lack of service to the striker in the FA Cup loss to Chelsea.
Minamino made his third start for the Reds on Tuesday night and produced an encouraging performance as he led the line, despite a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
The Japanese showed good movement, positive interplay and the work rate required to operate as a No. 9 under Klopp, but failed to fire a single shot on goal of Liverpool’s 14.
There were certainly chances to play Minamino through, however, and speaking after the game Klopp bemoaned this as a big issue for the Reds as they exited the FA Cup.
“Taki played a really good game. We could have used him much more often,” he told reporters.
“If Neco sees him once or twice, he was completely free at the edge when he shot the cross more or less. If he could see him it would have helped, of course.”
As a new player coming into the team, Minamino is required to adapt to the new style of play as much as his team-mates are to his, and speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, the 25-year-old outlined his need to “win trust.”
“I have to show results. I think this is very important in order to win trust from the team-mates and trust from the supporters,” he explained.
“I think this is a very important thing that I have to achieve.
“I have been in this club for three months and I haven’t played many games and my playing time is not that much—but this is not a good excuse.
“In order to appeal to my team-mates and [for them to] understand what I’m good at, I have to do what I really need to do.
“I think I’m still [learning] to fully understand the team, but I still hate to wait. In order to make an instant impact and make a contribution to the team, I’m doing my best every day.”
This notion of the “instant impact” comes, for Minamino, in terms of goals and assists, with the No. 18 “very hungry” to contribute in the final third—though, of course, he will need the ball to do so.
It is no surprise that he is currently lacking game time, as he is following the same transitional process as the likes of Fabinho, Andy Robertson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
But despite admitting he “hates to wait,” the winter signing is not making excuses, concluding: “I only have limited chances but when the manager needs me, I have to show the results of the manager’s expectations.”
Minamino should only gain trust the more he plays, and after only starting in the FA Cup so far it could be that he is given an opportunity in the Premier League soon.
Perhaps that could come as early as Saturday, and the visit of Bournemouth, with Klopp potentially shaking things up after a run of three losses in four games.