Michael Edwards and Liverpool’s transfer committee are at it again. Yes, the recruitment team that brought Liverpool supporters Mohamed Salah for a mere £37.8 million is at it once more and this time they may have found an even better bargain. According to reports on Thursday, Red Bull Salzburg forward Takumi Minamino may very well be on his way to Anfield with the club potentially paying as little as £7.25m for the Japanese player.
Who is Takumi Minamino?
Minamino (which has a great ring to it along the lines of Firmino and Fabinho) was one of Red Bull Salzburg’s standout players on Tuesday night when Liverpool played the Austrians in the Champions League. The Reds prevailed 2-0 thanks to goals from former Salzburg player Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah, however, the Austrians were all over Liverpool in the first half with Minamino playing a major role.
Minamino was one of the brightest players for Red Bull Salzburg on the evening and their best by miles. His performance for Jesse Marsch’s team outweighed that of Salzburg’s highly sought-after forward Erling Haaland. Now, it appears Liverpool could land Minamino in January with a £7.25m buyout clause cited in the player’s contract.
According to Transfermarkt, the 24-year-old has just 18 months left on his contract. Since arriving in 2015, Minamino has won five Austrian Bundesliga titles and four Austrian Cups.
Minamino has appeared in 14 Bundesliga games for Red Bull Salzburg tallying five goals and six assists this season. His Champions League output has been just as good with two goals and three assists in six matches. Add in two more goals and two assists in two Austrian Cup matches and the Japanese international has posted nine goals and 11 assists in 22 matches in total.
Minamino has been used as a centre forward, winger and attacking midfielder this season. He could be deployed in much the same way as Roberto Firmino or used on the wing giving Salah and Sadio Mane much-needed rests.
Could Takumi Minamino arrive at Anfield?
The Japanese international would be the third former Red Bull Salzburg player at Anfield. Keita and Mane both played for Red Bull Salzburg before making big moves to other clubs. Red Bull Salzburg, like sister-club RB Leipzig, have an incredible scouting network. Players often start at the Austrian club before moving to Germany to play for Leipzig in the case of Keita. Haaland is linked with a move to RB Leipzig as well, which could see striker Timo Werner leave for pastures new.
Liverpool fans may be disappointed with the club’s interest in Minamino after it was reported last week Jadon Sancho was on the radar of the team. Yet, those links to Sancho never made sense. The Englishman’s price tag is extremely high and Edwards’ transfer committee isn’t likely to splurge on Sancho when other capable players are available.
Minamino’s production and price tag fit Liverpool’s work in the transfer market. Edwards seeks a bargain unless a player, such as Virgil van Dijk or Alisson Becker, is desperately needed. According to the BBC, Liverpool’s transfer committee believe Minamino is worth three times his transfer release clause making him a steal.
Liverpool supporters should be excited about Minamino’s possible arrival even if it means Sancho won’t be bought. Although, he was probably never actually in the picture. A deal for Minamino could also kill any future Harry Wilson has at Anfield. However, his move to Bournemouth this season was proof the winger was unlikely to have a place at Liverpool next term.
Our sister video channel; Chant.uk, compares Minamino’s season-to-date statistics to Liverpool’s famed front three of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino.
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