With the knockout stages of the Champions League on the horizon and the competition returning to the forefront of the footballing calendar this month, both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have decided to make changes to their squads, as per a report by Sky Sports.
Jurgen Klopp has decided to include Takumi Minamino into his latest group of players for the tournament, although that is at the expense of young defender Sepp van den Berg.
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has also decided to include Steven Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes to replace the departed duo Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose, whilst also including five goalkeepers in his squad list – including Michel Vorm.
Whilst they might appear to be obvious changes on the surface of things, all three men could offer their respective clubs something rather special when it comes down to playing in Europe’s elite competition.
Minamino has already played in the tournament this season after having represented Red Bull Salzburg in the first part of the campaign.
The 25-year-old Japanese attacking midfielder provided the Austrian Bundesliga outfit with two goals and three assists in his six appearances, offering an average of 2.8 shots per game, as well as two key passes to his team-mates (WhoScored).
If he can achieve similar averages as he did for Salzburg, then perhaps he can help Klopp’s side progress in the Champions League by overcoming Atletico Madrid and keep their ambitions of retaining the title on track.
Bergwijn may have been playing his football for PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League – where he failed to find the net or create a goal (WhoScored) – however he seems to have hit the ground running at Spurs following his January move.
The 22-year-old winger fired home against Manchester City in his debut appearance at the weekend and has proven he can put on a number of key passes when he is – having produced an average of 2.2 in the five matches he played in Europe’s second club competition.
Fernandes can also offer Mourinho’s Tottenham side with an additional attacking threat against Red Bull Leipzig and potentially others if they progress as he averaged two shots per game for Benfica in the two matches he featured for them.