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    Friday, 26 November 2021

    Southampton boss tells Klopp Minamino's perfect position ahead of Anfield showdown

    Ralph Hasenhuttl has told Jurgen Klopp where to field Takumi Minamino for the player's best ahead of Saturday meeting at Anfield


    Liverpool take on Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday at Anfield.

    Minamino who is closing in on his two-year anniversary at the club, struggles to feature for
    Jurgen Klopp's side on a regular basis since arriving from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020.

    The Japanese made a handful of appearances during the Reds' title-winning campaign in 2019/20 and started just two league games last season before being loaned to Southampton in February.

    During his spell on the south coast, which saw him score twice in ten appearances, the 26-year-old was utilised as a number ten and Hasenhuttl is of the view that this is the attacker's most effective position on the pitch.

    "Minamino fit perfectly into our team, definitely. He had a few good games and he scored a few good goals for us. He was a big help in the number ten position," the Southampton boss told HampshireLive ahead of Saturday's clash at Anfield with the Reds.

    "You can see, now that he is back at Liverpool, he is getting his chances to play. He is getting offered chances by Jurgen and he is taking them - and this is with the massive challenge upfront from unbelievable, strong strikers.

    "If it wasn't for Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota, in that deeper number ten position, that would be just perfect for Taki," continued Hasenhuttl.

    "It's not easy to play ahead of those players though, and this is what a Champions League winners squad is!"

    Since returning to Liverpool, Minamino has scored four goals in eight appearances and has been deployed as a substitute in the previous three league outings.

    And Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane's upcoming involvement in the African Cup of Nations could also see further opportunities come the way of the former Salzburg man.

    "I was absolutely happy to work with him. He was a fantastic character and I really enjoyed it," said the Austrian.

    "I am always happy to see him playing games."

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