With Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Takumi Minamino set to have a medical at Liverpool – what will the Japan international bring to Anfield?
Minamino impressed against the Reds in October with a goal and assist as the Austrian side narrowly suffered a 4-3 defeat at Anfield and caught the eye once more in the return fixture, when Liverpool won 2-0 earlier in December. His £7.25m contract release clause has attracted interest from Premier League clubs, but he is now expected to join Liverpool on January 1.
Despite missing part of this season, he has been in scintillating form in the Austrian Bundesliga, too, with five goals and six assists from just 11 starts. For Japan, he’s maintained that impressive ratio with 11 goals in 22 games.
Minamino would become the fifth current Liverpool player signed from a production line linked with Red Bull’s head of sport and development Ralf Rangnick, joining Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino.
The style is very similar to Jurgen’s,” said Rangnick. “It’s proactive, it’s high pressing, counter-pressing. Once we have won the ball we don’t want to waste any time by square passes or back passes.
“We are trying to play forward as quickly as possible, trying to create chances, trying to score as many goals as possible.
“It’s definitely no coincidence that he has four former players of mine because it shows that he is, in fact, looking for the same kind of players, with the same assets, with the same mentality as we do.”
Where does he play?
Minamino has primarily started as a central attacking midfielder or winger for Salzburg this season but can also play as a wide midfielder. The graphic below shows his influence and impressive returns in the Champions League this term.
Minamino has impressed in Red Bull Salzburg’s two games against Liverpool in the Champions League. He scored at Anfield and impressed on Tuesday night over in Salzburg.
“In the current market he’s arguably worth around £20m, perhaps even more than that, but he has a release clause of £7.25m. It’s a no-brainer from Liverpool’s perspective.
“It makes sense to make the move and accelerate their interest given he is being chased by a number of Bundesliga and Serie A clubs. Manchester United are also being linked with a move as well, but at the moment, it appears Liverpool are best placed to complete a deal and look favourites to bring him to Merseyside.”