Former Red Mark Lawrenson has given his verdict on who will eventually replace Roberto Firmino at Liverpool.
Lawrenson believes that Takumi Minamino could be the player that replaces Firmino in the long-term.
Lawrenson has stated that Minamino kept taking up similar positions to Firmino during the recent Merseyside derby.
Lawrenson told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I think Takumi Minamino will eventually end up playing where Roberto Firmino plays. On Sunday he kept running into the space where Firmino was, that’s why they didn’t play particularly well. But eventually – it’s not going to happen while Firmino is around – he’ll take that spot.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
When you watch Minamino, it is clear that he is not a winger.
Minamino just does not have the pace to play out wide. RB Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch believes that Minamino’s best position is through the middle, which backs up my argument about the Japan international not being a wide player.
Firmino currently plays through the middle for the Reds. Marsch was Minamino’s manager before he made the move to Liverpool in January 2020.
Despite the aforementioned evidence suggesting that Minamino is a player that would thrive in Firmino’s position, I still think it is bold to suggest that the Japan international will be the Brazilian’s long-term replacement at Liverpool.
A new manager might come in when Firmino departs and look to play a completely different brand of football. With that being the case, perhaps Minamino won’t be a required player.
But, only time will tell.