Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has unearthed his next Divock Origi

Divock Origi will leave Anfield at the end of the season and although he was often a small player his ability to come out of the cold and score crucial goals will be missed

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Jurgen Klopp on the victory in Southampton

Takumi Minamino was one of the star performers on Tuesday night after a heavily changed Liverpool starting XI came from behind to defeat Southampton 2-1 and keep their Premier League title hopes alive.

Jurgen Klopp made nine changes to the side that beat Chelsea on penalties in Saturday’s FA Cup final and after Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk joined Fabinho on the injury list, the door opened for the likes of Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones opened and of course Minamino to make a rare start.

The Japan international has been a forgotten man at Anfield this season, despite being Liverpool’s top scorer in both domestic cup competitions, scoring four in the League Cup and three in the FA Cup. That wasn’t enough, however, to earn him a place in the matchday squad for the Reds’ FA Cup semi-final and final victories over Man City and Chelsea.

But Tuesday evening was a reminder that the 27-year-old can almost always be relied on, especially in front of goal. It was Minamino who leveled the goal at St Marys with a superb finish into the roof of Alex McCarthy’s net, securing goals in back-to-back Premier League starts for the striker, although the last was admittedly back in December 2020.

Minamino’s efficiency and reliability in front of goal can be seen from his numbers. Despite his supporting role this season, the forward has scored ten goals in all competitions. That total comes from just over 1100 minutes of competitive action, meaning the torrent yield breaks down to an impressive average of 0.80 goals per 90.

Also, he’s attempted just 27 shots in all competitions this season, meaning he’s a goal for roughly every three shots he takes. Needless to say, those numbers are unmatched by any of Liverpool’s most popular attackers.

It’s more than likely that this impressive conversion rate would diminish with more regular minutes, but even so, Minamino’s ability to come out of the cold and consistently score big goals is a bit reminiscent of Liverpool team-mate Divock Origi. The Belgium striker has almost never been a regular for Klopp but has scored a host of big crucial goals, including ones in a Champions League final and several Merseyside derbies.

While unable to threaten the likes of Salah, Sadio Mane and company, he has nonetheless carved himself a key role in the squad, becoming Klopp’s first man whenever his side need a goal. The 27-year-old will leave Anfield at the end of this season as his contract expires. And Minamino could well be the ideal player to take his place.

There’s no doubt that would suit Liverpool and Klopp, but perhaps less so for the player himself who may have ambitions to be something more. That won’t happen at Liverpool and could prove to be a major stumbling block to this possible change in his squad role.

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Fry Electronics Team

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