Takumi Minamino was an unused substitute in Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat against Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
With the Reds a goal down and left with just nine minutes remaining to muster an equaliser, Jurgen Klopp sent Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri into the fray in place of Roberto Firmino and Thiago Alcantara respectively.
Meanwhile, Minamino remained glued to the bench and presumably mulling over his status at the club.
The 26-cap Japan international moved to Anfield just over 12 months ago but hasn’t proven to be the cunning acquisition Liverpool were hoping for.
Minamino made just his second league start of the season in the 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace back in December, and the fact he has played just 6 minutes of football in the following five league matches speaks volumes about his standing under Klopp.
The FA Cup clash against United looked like an ideal fixture for the German manager to give Minamino a run out, but he passed up the opportunity and his decision certainly didn’t go unnoticed amongst the Reds faithful.
Indeed, fans were eager to ask respected journalist James Pearce about Minamino’s absence in his post-match Q&A column, per The Athletic.
The go-to man for all things Liverpool FC addressed the issue and claimed that the 26-year-old is failing to prove his credentials in training.
“He’s clearly not doing enough to impress in training. Not backing him to start was one thing, but to not even bring him on showed how far he’s fallen in the pecking order,” said Pearce.
He also added: “Clearly he’s not showing Klopp enough on the training field. That’s what the manager bases his decisions on. It’s strange how little he has featured since Palace away.”