Jurgen Klopp has hinted at Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino as two Liverpool will “find solutions” for this summer, but “the core of the group” will stay.
So far this season, 19 different players have found the back of the net for the Reds; the joint-most in any single campaign since the club-record 22 goalscorers in 2015/16.
Seven of those have already netted at least five times, with Origi (five) and Minamino (nine) among that reliable group – and particularly so the Japanese.
Sadio Mane (14), Diogo Jota (17) and Mohamed Salah (28) are the only Liverpool players to score more than Minamino this season, but he has only featured in three of the last 10 games and been left out of the squad entirely for two of those.
The 27-year-old has started just once in that run, scoring both goals in the 2-1 victory over Norwich in the FA Cup, and it is abundantly clear that, in the Premier League and Champions League, he is a low priority.
And speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal, Klopp suggested that Minamino could be one of those to move on in the summer.
“It is incredibly hard for him and for me as well because it is really tough these kind of things,” the manager said.
“Taki is in an incredible moment.”
Klopp added: “It is unlikely with the size of the squad that we now stay exactly like this together.
“For sure, some of the players do not play often enough for their own understanding and we will see what will come in the summer and find solutions for those situations.”
This comes after Klopp explained in his pre-match press conference that “it’s a clear commitment from this team for this season” and “then we will talk about the rest.”
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Players like Origi and Minamino will have put their personal ambitions on hold for the benefit of the team, and it has paid off so far given their vital contributions – especially in the domestic cups.
However, while Klopp’s words have hinted at an exodus in the summer, with the squad size larger than he typically works with, he stressed “that the core of the group has to stay together.”
“There is no doubt about that,” the German added.
Minamino was subject of interest from both Monaco and Leeds in the January transfer window, and it has already been speculated that the arrival of his former Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch at Elland Road could prompt a reunion.
For now, though, Liverpool’s No. 18 will remain a valuable player for Klopp, with another start possible against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.