Liverpool v Shrewsbury pictures
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Jurgen Klopp has dropped a potential transfer hint after admitting that Liverpool “desperately” need Takumi Minamino back in contention. The Reds will be without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for the next month or so with the pair competing at the African Cup of Nations.
It looks unlikely that Liverpool will sign an attacker this month after Klopp emphasised the importance of the fit-again Minamino.
With Salah and Mane not available due to their participation at AFCON, Liverpool look a little short in attack.
Diogo Jota has been left as the only regular starter, while Roberto Firmino will be glad to be getting some regular game time again.
Divock Origi has featured from time to time off the bench, along with Minamino, though the Japan international has recently overcome a minor muscle complaint.
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Minamino came on in the second half of Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup on Sunday.
And Klopp admitted that he was delighted to have him back in the side.
“Taki trained only twice after his injury, the game was part of his rehab,” the German said.
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“Taki was injured, nothing serious but serious enough that he couldn’t play. It won’t be the longest rehab in his life.
“But he is back and is very, very important for us, especially now we have a lot of games coming up and we all know two of our main guys up front are not here.
“I liked Taki a lot when he came on, he was actually in really good shape.
“But of course the injury interrupted him slightly, that’s how it is. Now he is back it’s good and we need him desperately.”
With Divick Origi out of contract in the summer, there has been talk that Liverpool could sign a new striker in January.
Portuguese frontman Jota has led the line mostly this term, scoring an impressive 10 goals in the Premier League, demoting Firmino to a back-up role.
Porto winger Luis Diaz has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield in January in a big-money move, which would provide immediate cover for Salah and Mane.
But it remains to be seen if Klopp is in the market for a long-term replacement for Origi following Jota’s switch to centre-forward.
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