According to a recent report by Sky Sports, Liverpool have begun discussions to acquire the services of Red Bull Salzburg star Takumi Minamino when the transfer window opens in January. The same source has revealed that the Japanese sensation has a £7.25m release clause in his current contract with the Austrian club. Barring any further complications with his medical or any unforeseen circumstances, the Reds are expected to complete the transfer this winter (via Sky Sports).
On Thursday, RB Salzburg sporting director Christophe Freund confirmed Liverpool’s interest when he said (via Sky Sports), “I can confirm that there are currently discussions with Liverpool. It is an honour which clubs are interested in our players.”
Minamino put in a couple of eye-catching displays versus Jurgen Klopp’s men in the UEFA Champions League group-stages but unfortunately, his contributions were not enough for the Austrian champions to qualify into the knockout stages of the competition.
Takumi Minamino – Player Profile
Minamino was born in Izumisano, Osaka and grew up playing for Cerezo Osaka Youth Academy. He managed to break out as a first-team starter for the J1 League outfit back in 2013. The Japanese playmaker made a total of 85 senior appearances for his home town club, scoring 17 goals while providing nine assists.
His impressive performances in Japan caught the eye of Salzburg chiefs, and they decided to bring him to Europe at the start of 2015. Minamino has featured in 199 matches for the Austrian Bundesliga side thus far, registering 64 goals while securing 44 assists across all competitions.
Minamino has enjoyed an excellent run of form this term and has been involved in 20 goals for Salzburg thus far. He has averaged 2.8 shots, 2.0 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per game in the group stages of the Champions League (stats via whoscored). The 24-year-old has also found the back of the net 11 times in 22 matches for the Japanese national side and is destined to play a crucial role for his nation in the coming years.
What Will The Japanese Attacker Bring To Merseyside?
Minamino is one of the quickest players in the Austrian first division and is not shy of putting on the afterburners when trying to beat his marker in the final third. He has gradually developed himself into a classy dribbler as he has an outstanding balance and close control of the ball. The Japanese speedster can consistently score and create goals for Salzburg, but the jury is still out on whether he will be able to deliver in the Premier League.
Will Minamino Be A Good Fit For Liverpool?
What makes Minamino such a promising talent is his versatility to play in multiple attacking roles in the opposition half. He primarily operates as a right-winger but can also play down the left flank or as a centre-forward up top. The Salzburg rising star will be a terrific fit for Klopp’s style of play at Anfield as he is a willing worker who will add more goals and assists to the Liverpool squad.
Furthermore, he can be an ideal back-up for Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and even, Roberto Firmino as he shares similar traits with them in the attacking third of the pitch. Klopp will also have the option to go ultra-attacking in specific matches and deploy Minamino alongside his fabulous front three if required.
If the deal goes through, Minamino will become Liverpool’s first-ever player of Japanese nationality. Hence, it will be a historic deal which could bring further commercial success to the Merseyside club down the line as the club looks to expand their reach around the globe.
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