Klopp praises 'outstanding' Minamino and offers Shaqiri hope for Liverpool future

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described Takumi Minamino's performance against Lincoln City as "absolutely outstanding" as the Japanese attacker struck twice in a 7-2 win

Still finding his feet at Anfield after sealing a move from RB Salzburg, Minamino showed his hunger on Thursday night as he pushed the Reds to a big victory.

The 25-year-old struck in the 18th and 46th minute for Liverpool, while he also claimed the assist for Divock Origi's late goal. 

Playing in the No.10 role against Lincoln, Minamino clearly impressed Klopp, who praised the Japanese star's desire to get involved.  

"I loved Taki’s game tonight, to be honest – it was absolutely outstanding and involved in so many situations," Klopp said post-match.

"More and more, I think we all realise where his qualities are. Wherever he will play in the end, he will end up in the centre: if he plays on the left wing or the right wing, he will play in the half-spaces or the centre because that’s where he has his real strength.

"He looked really well. The opponent had to kick off seven times [after our goals] and the first guy who chased the opponent again when they received the pass was Taki. He set the rhythm for all these pressing and counter-pressing situations, so I really, really liked the game tonight."

Xherdan Shaqiri opened the scoring for the Reds with a fine free-kick early on against Lincoln as he made the most of a rare start.

The Switzerland international has struggled for minutes at Anfield over the past year but Klopp was quick to praise him and suggested his situation at the club still "looks promising". 

"First of all it was a super game; a super game from Shaq in a quite, I’m not sure, unfamiliar position – slightly deeper in midfield," Klopp said of the Swiss star.

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"He did it really, really well. It was my fault [he was substituted] – he was completely fine, he twisted his ankle slightly but it was absolutely nothing. He touched it twice and I thought it was his calf, but it is nothing. I think it was anyway good to take him off then, but he played a really, really good game.

"The set-pieces were outstanding – the free-kick he scored with, what a goal that was!

"There is no doubt about Shaq’s quality, there was never [any doubt] and in the moment everything looks really, really good, it looks promising and we will see."