Liverpool suffered a new injury issue after Takumi Minamino was forced to withdraw from the Japanese squad after receiving a blow.
The Japanese federation announced on Saturday that Minamino was leaving the national team “due to injury” and would not make the World Cup qualifiers against China on Tuesday.
Despite his affair with Japan earlier this week, the Reds man did not feature his side’s 1-0 loss to Oman on Thursday.
“Midfielder Takumi Minamino (Liverpool FC) was withdrawn from the squad due to an injury to SAMURAI BLUE, who is active for the Chinese national team’s Asian final qualifying game (Road to Qatar ) “, indicates a statement from the Japanese federation.
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“We will notify you of additional players summoned to replace Minamino as soon as it is decided.”
And while ECHO understands Minamino’s injury is not serious, it gives Jurgen Klopp a headache after also seeing Roberto Firmino injured in the recent Chelsea draw at Anfield.
Liverpool have yet to provide a full status update for the Brazilian.
Injuries leave only Divock Origi replacing Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah – with many Liverpool fans believing the club failed to strengthen their front line during the summer transfer window.
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Minamino arrived at Anfield amid a lot of fanfare in January 2020 with his £ 7.25million fee seen as making him a bargain.
However, after impressing the Austrians in the Champions League, he struggled to replicate such form in England.
Since arriving at Anfield, Minamino has made just 31 appearances for the Reds, scoring four times and collecting two assists, and spent the second half of last season on loan at Southampton.
Minamino was loaned to the South Coast on deadline day in February, after Jurgen Klopp allowed him to leave in search of more playing time.
But the Japan international has experienced more inconsistency during his time with the Saints, scoring twice in his first two appearances for the club before losing form towards the end of the season.
And although he has been linked with a Liverpool exit this summer, the forward has remained at the club and has been on the bench for his side’s first three Premier League games this season.