Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on Takumi Minamino and Tyler Morton

Matchday five sees Liverpool host Porto at Anfield, with the top spot in Group B already secured thanks to four victories in the opening four matches.

Jurgen Klopp in a file photo; Credit: twitter/@LFC

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken highly about the contributions of two players who came off the bench during Saturday’s 4-0 win over Arsenal at Anfield. He referred to them in the context of players “earning the right” to play. Just a matter of seconds after being introduced, Takumi Minamino scored Liverpool’s fourth against the Gunners. He tapped in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ball with his first touch on 77 minutes. A little while after, Tyler Morton was brought on to get a maiden Premier League appearance at the age of 19, adding to the two League Cup runouts he tallied earlier in the campaign. Matchday five sees Liverpool host Porto at Anfield, with the top spot in Group B already secured.

Klopp, writing in his column for the official matchday programme, said: “We have so many players at the moment who are, on a daily basis on the training pitches, earning the right to play in this wonderful team. I could pick out a number of examples, but I would like to highlight Takumi Minamino. Taki scored for us at the weekend after being on the pitch for a matter of seconds and I promise you there will not have been a more popular goalscorer in our group at that moment. You could tell that from all of our reactions.”

Klopp on Minamino: He is a coach’s dream

“This is of course partly because we love him as a person. He has such a warm and generous soul. However, it was far more than just his endearing personality that made us so pleased. It was because of the attitude he shows and the contribution he makes day in and day out. Without question he is a person who helps set our standards.”

“I cannot praise highly enough the level he shows in training. He takes the maximum possible from each session. He is a coach’s dream. Being ready to contribute is a prerequisite for being a member of our group. Taki has been the epitome of it this season, along with others and it will be an important quality for us going forward.”

Klopp on Tyler Morton

Klopp then shifted his focus to the teenage talent, Tyler Morton. “The other individual I want to mention following the weekend’s action against Arsenal is Tyler Morton. It would not have been lost on our supporters that our bench that day had a fair share of youthfulness about it. I heard all the ‘past their bedtime’ jokes. Tyler came on and the image of him being embraced by Thiago as he entered the pitch was really quite something,” he explained.

“Tyler represents everything that is great about young footballers at our club. I know how highly Alex Inglethorpe and the Academy staff rate him. What a job they continue to do. He doesn’t need any more expectation placed on him, so I am not going to write a ‘love song’ here about what he is going to do in the game or what sort of player he is and might be. We will see on that and he will write his own story. But it is the person he is that makes him very special.

“He earned those Premier League minutes and in doing so set an example to the young players who will inevitably follow him. He is such a credit to himself and his family. His job now is to continue to lean in to the best personal qualities that have helped him to this point. That is all: be the same guy who treats each second with the first team as an opportunity to learn and be better.”

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