Liverpool are reportedly set to sign Red Bull Salzburg’s Takumi Minamino in the January transfer window after the winger impressed in both meetings between the two sides this season.
Minamino would be the latest former Salzburg player at Liverpool, following in the footsteps of Sadio Mane and Naby Keita.
Erling Braut Haaland may have stolen the headlines this season, but the Japan international has also won plenty of plaudits. Here’s what people have said about him.
“He is an outstanding player with an outstanding personality. The big clubs have been watching him and if I was them, I’d have no hesitation to sign him. Takumi is ready to take the next step in January,” the RB Salzburg sporting director told The Independent.
Liverpool stepping up their interest in Takumi Minamino because he's now being chased by Bundesliga and Serie A clubs. Also talk of Manchester United interest. #LFC believe he's worth £20m plus which makes his release clause of £7.25m so attractive.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) December 12, 2019
“Minamino is on his way to becoming a super striker at Salzburg,” the local newspaper wrote in August 2019.
“This Japanese is the best player at Salzburg at the moment. Until last year, he was living in the shadows of Jonathan Soriano and Moanes Dabbur, but he has now scored four goals in the last four matches.”
“He has really paid back the trust I put in him,” said Minamino’s former manager, who has now guided Borussia Monchengladbach to the top of Bundesliga.
“Haaland aside, Takumi Minamino may well be the best. Coming in from the right wing and seeing the pitch very well, he can create goals,” journalist Ablinger told Liverpool’s official website.
“However, as his eight goals across all competitions can attest, he scores them, too.”
“If you look at Minamino’s record with Salzburg it’s impressive – 63 goals in 192 appearances – but I believe that anyone who gets into that side is a very good player,” European football expert Veth told the Liverpool Echo.
“I would describe him as a hard-working attacking midfielder. It’s really hard to categorise them into a particular box.
“That price is a steal, an absolute steal for that kind of player.”
Minamino aced his audition in a thriller at Anfield.
Klopp certainly liked what he saw! pic.twitter.com/5tKzTaRVmj
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 12, 2019
“Someone will pay a king’s ransom for Erling Haaland and with good reason, but I bet Red Bull Salzburg are quite pleased that he’s distracting everyone from how good Minamino and Hwang are,” the New York Times journalist tweeted.
“Minamino’s positional flexibility will be really useful if he completes a move to Anfield,” wrote journalist Bull in The Telegraph.
“He is able to rotate with any of the front three or drop even deeper if needed, having played as a central midfielder a few times this season, albeit as a midfielder instructed to join attacking moves by running into those positions behind the strike.
“It is Minamino’s ability to operate as creator, link man and goal threat as a withdrawn striker that makes him particularly of interest to Liverpool.”