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Takumi Minamino: Profile of winger set to join Liverpool

Liverpool’s activity in the summer transfer window wasn’t very active at all. Off the back of a triumphant Champions League campaign and being in touching distance of a Premier League title, people expected Jurgen Klopp to bring in reinforcements to build on their incredible 2018/19. However, the only additions were Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott. Hardly blockbuster. Fast forward to now, they’re even more dominant than last year and look set for their maiden Premier League title. They will be bringing someone else in, in January. You may not have heard of him, but that player is Takumi Minamino.

The 24 year old has had an impressive campaign domestically and in Europe for RB Salzburg. Though 19 year old sensation Erling Haaland has taken the spotlight, Minamino has quietly performed brilliantly. So much so, he has caught the eye of the Champions League holders. Scoring against them definitely helped. Various credible sources, including Sky Sports, reported The Reds were willing to pay out his £7.25 million release clause earlier this week, amid competition from various other clubs in Europe. At such a low price with what he’s shown, it seems like a no-brainer.

Earlier today, Sky reported that Minamino had his medical and is expected to arrive in Merseyside on January 1st. It’s only good news coming out of Liverpool at the moment.

Takumi Minamino

So why is the Japanese international so sought after by the footballing world? We’ll give you a brief summary:

Lighting up the Champions League

Minamino has had an excellent 2019/20. 5 goals and 5 assists in just 14 league games have helped the side sit top of the Austrian league. But on top of that, he’s been performing in the Champions League. As aforementioned, he scored against Liverpool in his side’s 4-3 defeat at Anfield.

Takumi Minamino 2019/20 UCL stats:

Appearances: 6

Goals: 2

Assists: 3

Those stats are stats you would expect from a top winger in an elite side. But the 22 capped Japanese international has been doing it for, no disrespect, a much smaller team. Haaland has taken the headlines, but Minamino has also been impressive. To break it down further, he’s averaging 2.8 shots and 2 key passes per game (WhoScored). Yet alongside the attacking output, 1.2 tackles per game to show he works hard in all aspects of the game.

Takumi Minamino – Style of Play

What distinguishes the attacker from other young, talented and exciting wingers is his end product. The ability of Minamino to find the right pass just seconds after receiving the ball is rare in most wingers. His decision making is that of a 24 year old, who has had time to develop his overall game. Klopp won’t need to worry about developing or coaching him to make the right choice at the right time.

He doesn’t have flair as such. Not blistering pace, mesmerising dribbling, or any outrageous skills. But tidy. Perhaps why he isn’t making headlines like his partner in crime. What Minamino possesses is an intelligence and good work ethic, something that fits perfectly in a Liverpool side that epitomise the word ‘industrious’.

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