Takumi Minamino on Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp: “He managed to get everyone’s motivation intact.”

AS Monaco attacking midfielder Takumi Minamino (28) has given a wide-ranging interview to L’Equipe. The Japanese international took the Ligue 1 by storm in logging three goals and as many assists in five games. Despite conceding a late 2-2 draw at Lorient, Les Monégasques are still top of the league. Minamino is flourishing in Adi Hütter’s 3-4-2-1 system, playing as one of the two attacking midfielders. “This is the position in which I feel the most at ease“, Minamino said. “But the more important thing is that I had a real summer pre-season. It was not the case last year.

On the back of his €15m move from Liverpool one year ago, Minamino was the shadow of the player he was at RB Salzburg and with the Reds. He only logged five goal contributions (1 goal and 4 assists) last season with Philippe Clement’s Monaco side. The Japanese international looks revitalized since the appointment of Hütter – the Austrian had previously coached Minamino at Salzburg. “I already knew his way of playing, so I tried right away to put it into action. We can see everyone gets his ideas. For instance, he gives us training plans in which his intentions and ultimate goal are always specified.

Minamino adds that Hütter shared a common trait with Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp in the way both managed to make him more confident. The 28-year-old playmaker has lauded the German manager’s man management. “He always spoke with everyone, even with those who didn’t play. For me, this is what makes him such a respected and fair coach towards his players. He manages to get everyone’s motivation intact, even the substitutes’.” Minamino said he felt his daily work was valued by Klopp, even when the Japanese did not play. Minamino won the 2020 Premier League as well as the 2022 FA Cup and League Cup with the Reds.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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