Liverpool's Takumi Minamino compared to Chelsea new boy after Carabao Cup brace

Liverpool star Takumi Minamino has been compared to Kai Havertz after his brilliant display against Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup.

The Reds made light work of their third-round opponents after a 7-2 victory that saw goals from Minamino, Xherdan Shaqiri, Curtis Jones, Marko Grujic and Divock Origi.

It has set up a mouthwatering tie with Arsenal in the next round.

And it was an opportunity for Liverpool’s fringe players to stake a claim for a more advanced role in the squad.

One of those to have surely made an impression was Minamino, whose goals were just one facet of his game.

The Japan international was full of running, constantly pressing defenders and causing a nuisance.

Takumi Minamino scored twice against Lincoln City on Thursday night

And Ralf Rangnick, who has been director of football of Minamino’s former club RB Salzburg, was full of praise for the forward – even comparing him to Chelsea’s new signing Havertz.

“He is one of five players in the Liverpool squad who, in the last couple of years, played for one of my clubs,” he told Sky Sports’ The Football Show.

“This is definitely no coincidence, because Jurgen and his style of football is similar to ours and my style of football.

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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.

In terms of transfers the Reds have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara and Wolves’ Diogo Jota has arrived too, in a shock deal worth a potential £45million.

Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There’s a lot to keep track of.

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“Together with Sadio Mane (Salzburg), Naby Keita (Salzburg and RB Leipzig), Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim) and Joel Matip (Schalke), Minamino is the fifth player from one of my former clubs.

“Minamino, I think if all players are fully fit for the most important games in the Champions League and Premier League, he will probably not be in the starting 11.

“But you can always bring him on as a sub. He is, similar to Dele Alli and Kai Havertz, very much of an all-rounder in the offensive positions.

Takumi Minamino was impressive for Liverpool against Lincoln

“He can play almost any offensive position in a team like Liverpool.

“But if all the players are fully fit, with all respect to Minamino, I don’t see him in the starting 11.

“But he’s definitely a very valuable squad player for Liverpool and in the case of playing against lower teams in the Premier League or in the cups, he can always be in the starting 11.

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“He’s a fantastic boy, top mentality, good pace and can score goals.

“So I think this transfer absolutely made sense.”

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