Mi­namino breakthrou­gh Klopp hails at­tack­ing mid­fielder

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football -

Jur­gen Klopp has said Takumi Mi­namino can be a “real player” for Liver­pool this sea­son af­ter the Ja­pan in­ter­na­tional’s first goal for the club in Satur­day’s Com­mu­nity Shield.

Mi­namino has im­pressed in pre-sea­son af­ter strug­gling to make an im­pact last sea­son, fol­low­ing his move from Red Bull Salzburg in January.

“It was big for him and for us,” said Klopp. “The only thing he lacked since he was with us is that he didn’t score a goal. He was close in plenty of mo­ments, but the shape he’s in is good and ev­ery­one could see that when he came on.”

Mean­while, Klopp has ex­pressed his sup­port for teams be­ing al­lowed to make five sub­sti­tu­tions in the Premier League next sea­son. “For the sake of the foot­ball play­ers and the per­for­mance lev­els, I think it would make sense,” said Klopp.

The club cap­tain, whose new con­tract is ex­pected to be an­nounced im­mi­nently, ri­fled into the far cor­ner af­ter a fine pass­ing move to give Ar­se­nal the lead. It was the sort of goal that can only be scored by a player at the very top of his game.

The de­fend­ers and mid­field­ers must know it is worth com­mit­ting ev­ery­thing to the cause when it only takes a sin­gle mo­ment for Aubameyang to put the ball in the net.

Ar­se­nal’s fear­less­ness was per­haps best en­cap­su­lated by Reiss Nel­son, one of this cur­rent crop of highly rated academy grad­u­ates. Nel­son was the first to vol­un­teer to take a penalty in the shoot-out af­ter the game had fin­ished 1-1. “He said ‘Me first’,” Arteta said.

Bukayo Saka, an­other young­ster, had played a key role in Aubameyang’s goal by spray­ing a cross­field pass into the striker’s path. Arteta has hired two new coaches, Car­los Cuesta and Miguel Molina, to help over­see the de­vel­op­ment of these young play­ers, and their progress could be cru­cial to the club’s fu­ture.

“I get more and more im­pressed with them ev­ery day,” Arteta said of a group that also in­cludes Joe Wil­lock and Ed­die Nke­tiah. “They want to be bet­ter than their team­mates and re­ally want chances.”

The only con­cern will be the lack of time on the train­ing field, with less than two weeks un­til the new Premier League cam­paign be­gins.

Can Arteta drill home any new tac­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion by then? It seems un­likely. What is cer­tain, though, is that the club’s men­tal­ity is chang­ing. This alone could be the dif­fer­ence between suc­cess and fail­ure for Ar­se­nal this sea­son.

(3-4-3) Martinez 7; Hold­ing 7, Luiz 7, Tier­ney 7 (Ko­lasinac 83); Bel­lerin 7 (Cedric 59), Xhaka 7, El­neny 7, Mait­land-Niles 8; Saka 7 (Wil­lock 82), Nke­tiah 7 (Nel­son 82), Aubameyang 8. Leno (g), Sal­iba, Smith Rowe, John-Jules, Olayinka.

(4-3-3) Alis­son 6; Wil­liams 5 (Mi­namino 59), Gomez 6, Van Dijk 6, Robert­son 6; Wi­j­nal­dum 6 (Brew­ster 90+2), Fabinho 6, Mil­ner 5 (Keita 59); Salah 5, Firmino 6 (Jones 82), Mane 6. Adrian (g), Gru­jic, Tsimikas, El­liott, Koume­tio. Mil­ner.

An­dre Mar­riner (West Mid­lands).

Matt Do­herty has joined Tot­ten­ham on a four-year deal for a re­ported £15mil­lion. The Repub­lic of Ire­land right-back

Team spirit: Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang (with the tro­phy) leads the cel­e­bra­tions

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