Klopp praises 'outstanding' Minamino after Liverpool beat Everton in FA Cup

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Takumi Minamino Liverpool
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The Japanese forward has only been a Reds player a matter of days but played his part in their FA Cup third-round victory over their rivals

Jurgen Klopp praised Takumi Minamino for his debut performance in Liverpool’s FA Cup victory over Merseyside rivals Everton, labelling the Japan forward’s display as “outstanding”.

The 24-year-old has had little time to train with his new teammates after signing for £7.25 million ($9.5m) from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg at the start of the month.

However, he was thrown straight into a much-changed Liverpool starting line-up for Sunday’s third round clash with the Toffees at Anfield.

As well as new signing Minamino, Reds boss Klopp fielded a mix of squad players and academy graduates as he rested his front line stars following a busy festive period.

Despite the much-changed side it was normal service at Anfield for the Reds, with 18-year-old Curtis Jones curling home a spectacular second-half winner to send the club through to the fourth round.

Speaking after the game Klopp expressed his delight at his new signing, telling reporters he was impressed how quickly Minamino's has adapted to his new surroundings. 

“He was super, outstanding, exactly the player we wanted, exactly the player we wished for," Klopp said. 

“In your first game for a team you don't know, it’s not a settled team, it's already difficult. This team we threw together on the pitch with basically two sessions together, to show this sort of understanding, his football skills were exceptional and his attitude was outstanding.

“He led the chasing pack so often. He didn't look tired, but we don’t know the player that well yet so we took him off.”

The one negative for Klopp was an early injury to James Milner, who limped off with a suspected hamstring problem after just nine minutes.

However, that was partly offset by a return to action for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who replaced Minamino after 70 minutes.

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The England international has been absent since sustaining an ankle injury during the Club World Cup final victory over Flamengo shortly before Christmas.

“It was a nice add-on to have Oxlade-Chamberlain back,” added the former Borussia Dortmund boss.

“He looked pretty lively when he came on. He trained only for two days, that's why he didn't start.”