Mohamed Salah may not slack off in front of goal this season but with the Africa Cup of Nations starting in just a month, Liverpool will be aware of the offensive dilemma that awaits them in January.
The Egyptian and Sadio Mane, along with Naby Keita will set off and leave for continental competition in the mid-season Jürgen Klopp just under two of its strongest attack threats for a crucial period of the campaign.
Not correct is the Premier League’s top scorer so far this season with 13 goals in 14 games and 19 out of 19 in all competitions, with Diogo Jota and Mane third and fourth with eight goals from 13 league games (nine of 17 total) and seven goals from 14 league games (nine of 19 total), respectively.
Hoping the Portuguese can continue that form in the absence of the African duo, Klopp keeps his fingers crossed that Roberto Firmino can return after his injury and get in shape in time to fill the gap.
Takumi Minamino is one player who will hope to have a phone call in the coming weeks who could ensure that Salah and Mane’s absence is not felt so harshly.
The Japan international has scored four goals from ten games so far this season and opened his Premier League account against Arsenal last month.
After beating the Gunners, Klopp praised the forward’s versatility when he promised to get more minutes in the coming weeks.
“You can’t imagine how happy I am with Taki,” he told reporters. “He is at an incredible moment and today he was actually our solution for four positions, I think.
“Actually five positions because he could have played eight positions as well as all three beforehand. He’s in a really good moment and you can see that.
“I’m pretty sure he played very well for Japan in the international games. Now he is here and very important to us.
“We are so happy, everyone was so happy for him that he scored the goal. The way he played today shows how well he is training now.
“He’s going to have games, there’s no doubt about that.”
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And Minamino has since confirmed his favorite position, showing that he prefers to play ahead but likes to compete wherever his manager plays him.
“Playing at goal is my favorite position. I think one of my jobs is to score goals, ”he said.
“But the coach decides where I play and it’s good that he says I can play in many positions because that’s one of my advantages. I want to play at a higher level in every position.
“There are a lot of great players on the team. It always helps me to keep my motivation higher.
“I always keep my motivation high and the manager’s comments don’t necessarily make it any higher.
“That’s what professional players have to do and I don’t do anything special. Even though I only play a limited amount of time, I do my best when I get a chance to show 100 percent.
“I have to prepare myself for it. That’s what professional players have to do. Nevertheless, I am very happy that there are people who look at me and make good comments about me. “
Minamino will meet a familiar face when Liverpool travel to the Wolves on Saturday, with Hwang Hee-chan currently impressing on loan to Molineux.
The South Korean international, who, along with his teammate Adama Traore, has been linked to a move to Anfield Road, was a member of the Red Bull Salzburg team that lost to the Reds in the Champions League group stage for two years at home and away , and, like Minamino, met Merseyside in their 4-3 defeat for the Austrians.
The Liverpool forward warns of the threat his former teammate poses and has warned the Reds must do their best to maintain their winning streak and stay in the title fight.
“At Wolves there are a lot of great players like Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore and Hwang Hee-chan, my team-mate in Salzburg. They are tough opponents, ”he said the club website .
“But without beating these strong teams, we can’t win the Premier League. I want to win the next game and if I get a chance, I want to play 100 percent for the team. “