'We've got the new Cafu' Takumi Minamino's new role at Monaco

'We've got the new Cafu' Takumi Minamino's new role at Monaco

Publish on 02/27 at 12:25 - G. BOXALL


After being involved in two of Monaco’s goals against Lens in their dramatic win at Stade Bollaert (3-2), Takumi Minamino has become the Principality side’s X factor in recent weeks in his new role on the right side. We take a look at Japan international’s recent road to redemption under Adi Hütter.

"We've got the new Cafu," exclaimed Aleskander Golovin after AS Monaco's last-gasp win over Racing Club de Lens last weekend away from home (2-3). The Japan international had an influential impact on the result: by being involved in the ASM's second goal, winning a penalty, as well as netting the eventual sucker-punch winner in the 92nd minute of play.

The former Liverpool man has recently been getting used to a new position at right wing-back in recent weeks, due to the many injuries being faced by Les Monégasques at current. Minamino has now scored his seventh goal of the season in 20 matches played, an impressive stat considering the midfielder was absent most of January whilst representing Japan at the Asia Cup.

Watch: Minamino scores last-minute goal as Monaco beat Lens 2-3

A mighty return after Asia Cup action

"It was very important to score. We conceded two goals, we weren't very good in the second half but I wanted to help as an attacking player with a goal or an assist," Minamino told Amazon Prime Video following the game. He's certainly a player who has come back from international duty full of good form for Monaco, after registering an assist against Nice in the Côte d'Azur Derby and being involved in two goals against Lens last weekend.

His recent bounce-back to form follows a tough period at the end of 2023, after initially providing prolific action at the start of the season with three goals and three assists in four matches. A tactical decision from Hütter has seen Minamino raise his game. "As for his positioning, we had thought of Edan Diop, who has a more defensive profile, but we decided to trust him. Wilfried Singo helped him a lot, he gave a lot of himself and he brought stability," explained the Austrian manager.

It's a return in form just in time for the visit of Paris Saint-Germain to the Stade Louis II next weekend in league action - where Minamino's best form will be needed in a clash at the top of the Ligue 1 UberEats table.

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