27 y/o could leave Liverpool in January as Reds close in on 5ft 9in upgrade [Opinion]

Liverpool are set to sign Luis Diaz from FC Porto, but not every player will be happy to see the 25-year-old arriving at Anfield. Takumi Minamino has struggled for playing time under Jurgen Klopp and might find opportunities even harder to come by with another player for competition.

The 27-year-old joined Liverpool on a four-and-a-half year from RB Salzburg and has gone on to make 49 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals with three assists. Minamino has started 18 matches for the Reds, averaging only 40 minutes of playing time per game.

He was loaned out to Southampton last season for more playing time and has remained on the periphery since returning to Merseyside. The Japanese international, who boasts an impressive 16 goals and eight assists in 36 caps for his country, hasn’t started a Premier League game this season.

Minamino has made 18 appearances across the board in 2021/22, scoring six goals with one assist. And although the 27-year-old has scored four goals in five EFL Cup games, it’s not been enough to convince Klopp that he deserves more opportunities in the top-flight.

Mohamed Salah, Robert Firmino, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota have been preferred in attack, so the writing appears to be on the wall for Minamino. And Diaz won’t be joining Liverpool to sit on the bench, so the 5ft 9in forward is likely to push the Japanese international further down the pecking order.

Sky Sports say Leeds United and AS Monaco have made moves for the 27-year-old but have had their offers rebuffed as Liverpool are requesting more money, so time will tell if he’s offloaded before the January transfer window shuts. Sky Sports don’t believe the Reds are actively looking to sell Minamino, but he can’t be happy with his current situation.

Diaz would be his upgrade too, so Minamino won’t feel good about being replaced.