Liverpool news: James Pearce delivers verdict on Klopp's stance on Minamino

Liverpool news: Takumi Minamino

Takumi Minamino was an unused substitute in Liverpool's 3-2 defeat against Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup. 

With the Reds a goal down and left with just nine minutes remaining to muster an equaliser, Jurgen Klopp sent Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri into the fray in place of Roberto Firmino and Thiago Alcantara respectively. 

Meanwhile, Minamino remained glued to the bench and presumably mulling over his status at the club. 

The 26-cap Japan international moved to Anfield just over 12 months ago but hasn't proven to be the cunning acquisition Liverpool were hoping for. 

Minamino made just his second league start of the season in the 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace back in December, and the fact he has played just 6 minutes of football in the following five league matches speaks volumes about his standing under Klopp. 

The FA Cup clash against United looked like an ideal fixture for the German manager to give Minamino a run out, but he passed up the opportunity and his decision certainly didn't go unnoticed amongst the Reds faithful.

Indeed, fans were eager to ask respected journalist James Pearce about Minamino's absence in his post-match Q&A column, per The Athletic.

The go-to man for all things Liverpool FC addressed the issue and claimed that the 26-year-old is failing to prove his credentials in training. 

"He's clearly not doing enough to impress in training. Not backing him to start was one thing, but to not even bring him on showed how far he's fallen in the pecking order," said Pearce.

He also added: "Clearly he's not showing Klopp enough on the training field. That's what the manager bases his decisions on. It's strange how little he has featured since Palace away."

GIVEMESPORT's Jack Saville says...

There has been a distinct absence of the flair, creativity and dynamism we saw from Minamino prior to his move to Liverpool. 

The long-term success of Liverpool's front-three has created a notable obstacle for Minamino to overcome, but his form lends no reason to believe that he will rise to that challenge. 

Flashes of brilliance have been non-existent and the fact he's failing to impress on the training ground suggests his struggle to adapt isn't just manifesting on matchdays either. 

Perhaps the biggest concern for Minamino is that his peripheral status has been cemented during a season in which Liverpool have been forced to move two central midfielders into central defence, while Diogo Jota has also been ruled out for an extended period following his electric start to life at Liverpool.

If Minamino is incapable of breaking through under these circumstances, then when will he step up to the plate?

Unless there is an unexpected and major improvement in Minamino's form before the end of the season, Michael Edwards would be wise to get his £75k-per-week salary, per Spotrac, off the books.  

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