Nick Potts
# New Face
'Minamino strikes me as an ideal signing for Liverpool' - what to expect from Salzburg winger at Anfield
The 24-year-old is set to arrive at Anfield in January.

WITH TAKUMI MINAMINO set to become a Liverpool player on 1 January, what can Reds’ fans expect from the Japanese winger once he settles in at Anfield?

The 24-year-old has been with Red Bull Salzburg since 2015, having signed from Cerezo Osaka, but Jurgen Klopp is only one of a litany of admirers. Other Bundesliga sides, notably Borussia Monchengladbach, have been monitoring along with Manchester United and AC Milan.

But, the reigning European champions have moved quickly in the last number of weeks to complete a cut-price deal.

With a release clause of £7.25m, some believe it’s an early Christmas gift for Klopp and co. 

“He strikes me as an ideal signing for Liverpool”, says Mark Rodden, who covers German football extensively as a reporter and commentator. 

“Salzburg play a similar high-intensity style and Minamino is a tireless worker. He’s skilful, sharp and a good finisher but a team player too: 64 goals and 44 assists in 199 games for Salzburg attest to that.”

His work ethic is certainly a key attribute and given Klopp’s track record with developing and nurturing players, he can expect to get even better once he lands at Anfield. There are other positives. Communication between coach and player won’t be a problem and there’s also the fact Klopp got so much from another diminutive Japanese player in Shinji Kagawa.      

“Minimino is constantly looking to work on his game and says he’s always watched players of a similar stature – Aguero, Griezmann, Hazard, Raul – to see how he can improve”, says Rodden. 

He’ll be 25 in January so he’s ready for the next step. And for Liverpool – even if the price ends up being a little higher than reported – it seems like a no-brainer. This is a guy who could easily fit in anywhere across the front three to give Firmino, Mane and Salah a breather. He’s a regular goalscorer at club and international level and has proven himself in the Europa League – just ask Celtic fans (the sides met in the group stages last year) – and in the Champions League too.”

“Most of the players who spend a few years at Salzburg and then move on have good careers at a higher level. Liverpool will be aware of that pedigree, of course, with Mane and Keita – a former Salzburg team-mate of Minamino’s – already at the club.”        

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