Jurgen Klopp sees Takumi Minamino as a positive development for Liverpool’s midfield.
Liverpool kept their unbeaten start to the season alive with a thrilling 3-2 win over AC Milan on Wednesday night, but Jurgen Klopp had a few surprises up his sleeve.
While Harvey Elliott was forced to withdraw due to a dislocated ankle suffered against Leeds United last weekend, Jordan Henderson didn’t stop there, making four changes to his side to face the Rossoneri, with Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara, and Sadio Mane all being replaced by Joe Gomez, Naby Keita, and Divock Origi.
Given that the Dutchman only returned from an ACL injury in the summer, Klopp’s decision to push the centre-back through two matches in four days may not have been as surprising as it originally appeared.
However, the fact that Origi came in for Mane, making his first start since January and first appearances since March, undoubtedly raised eyebrows, especially considering he was anticipated to leave the club before the transfer window closed last month.
With Crystal Palace visiting Anfield on Saturday and a League Cup trip to Norwich City the following Tuesday, Klopp’s lineup selection in Milan suggests that more changes will be made as he tries to keep his side fresh.
And, with Origi’s return to the starting XI indicating that future team news surprises can’t be ruled out, we look at the adjustments the Reds coach might make against the Eagles.
Virgil van Dijk, who was an unused replacement against Milan, is expected to return against Palace, and will likely partner Joel Matip if Klopp restores the centre-back tandem that has performed so well so far this season.
As a result, Joe Gomez will be dropped ahead of his return to Norwich, where Ibrahima Konate might make his Liverpool debut.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, meanwhile, keep their full-back spots ahead of the night off at Carrow Road.
Could we finally see Klopp unleash Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, and Jordan Henderson as a midfield trio?
When the Spaniard was forced to withdraw against Milan, the Liverpool captain took his place. “The summary has come to an end.”