"World-class" Takumi Minamino backed by Jurgen Klopp to succeed in Ligue 1

Jurgen Klopp is backing Takumi Minamino to be a success in Ligue 1 with Monaco after allowing the Japan international to leave Liverpool earlier in the summer. TIM KEETON/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

A dream move to Liverpool may ultimately not have quite panned out completely as Takumi Minamino might have liked.

After rising to prominence as part of a formidable Red Bull Salzburg attack -- also boasting Erling Haaland and Hwang Hee-chan -- that took that season's Champions League by storm, the Japanese attacker would go on to earn a move to the Premier League giants at the start of 2020.

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Nonetheless, with illustrious names such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino ahead of him in the pecking order, and further competition from the likes of Divock Origi, Diogo Jota and -- most recently -- Luis Diaz, Minamino decided to leave the Reds earlier this summer and join Ligue 1 outfit Monaco on a four-year deal.

Although he was never quite able to force his way into manager Jurgen Klopp's first-choice XI, the German insists the fact that Minamino was able to be a role player for such a formidable outfit highlights his quality.

"We miss him honestly. He is a fantastic player and he was a fantastic part of our squad," said Klopp, speaking in his prematch press conference for Friday's second preseason outing against Crystal Palace at Singapore's National Stadium.

"We should not forget, as an offensive player coming to Liverpool in a time when the settled front three were Mane, Firmino, Salah; the new signing was Diogo Jota -- it's not like you have to be a bad player to not be in the first lineup.

"No, you have to be a world-class player to be around [the starting XI] and to be the next coming on, so Taki [Minamino] did that incredibly well for us."

Minamino's transfer to Monaco in search of regular first-team action could prove a pivotal one with the FIFA World Cup coming up at the end of the year, and Japan in desperate need of their star man to be firing on all cylinders if they are to stand any chance of progressing out of a group also including Germany, Spain and Costa Rica.

Renowned for the strong relationship he shares with his charges, Klopp admits he was never going to stand in Minamino's way once it became apparent it was time for him to depart.

"I would have loved to keep him, but I understand 100 percent that he wants to play regularly -- that's absolutely right from his point of view," Klopp explained.

"We can easily say we wouldn't have won one trophy if Taki Minamino hadn't been with us last year. He scored all the decisive goals to get us to the final.

"I know that he enjoyed his time with Liverpool but, of course, he wanted to play more, and it made sense to move on to Monaco -- a super club for him.

"I'm really convinced he will do incredibly well and succeed in Ligue 1, and I wish him all the best."