What will Takumi Minamino bring to Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool?


Liverpool have found perhaps the bargain of the year…

On the morning of December 19th, Liverpool announced the signing of Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg, activating the reported £7.25 million release clause.

The Japanese international racked up 64 goals in 199 appearances in the Austrian Bundesliga, and his arrival on Merseyside will be a massive boost for Jürgen Klopp squad in the push for the long-awaited Premier League title, as well as their defence of the Champions League. So what will he add to the Reds, and how can he become one of Klopp’s key players?


Minamino is one of the most versatile forwards in European football at the moment, having the ability to play on either wing, as a striker, a false 9, a number 10, or an 8. This versatility gives Klopp more options on how he wants to set his team up.

Currently, Liverpool’s renowned front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah start almost every domestic and European match, barring any injuries. Minamino can be a player coming off the bench to replace any of the three without Klopp worrying about a drop off in the intensity, work rate, and skill.

Outside of being a fantastic bench option, Minamino does have the quality to start and ensure the main front three get adequate rest. The qualities he has differs from the options Klopp currently turns to as forward squad depth: Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri. Both players mostly excel in the one position, Origi as a pure striker, and Shaqiri as a winger, while Minamino can slot into multiple positions.

Because of current options, Klopp will often shoehorn one of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Naby Keita, two midfield players, on the wing. This, of course, is not ideal and with Minamino coming in, Klopp will not have to force his players in unnatural positions.

Familiarity with Klopp’s system

More from Liverpool FC

Coming from RB Salzburg, Minamino is familiar with the way Klopp likes to set up his Liverpool team. Jesse Marsch sets up his team in a high press, high energy style of play, similar to Klopp’s gegenpress.

Several of Liverpool’s current players have had to take time to adjust to Klopp’s style. Andrew Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Fabinho all struggled to get into Liverpool’s starting XI for approximately six months after signing because they needed time to get accustomed to the tactics and the fitness levels required.

Marsch’s style at RB Salzburg is similar enough to Klopp’s that Minamino should not take too long to get accustomed. He may not be consistently starting right away, but that will more so down to the front three’s quality, rather than his own struggles.

Creativity & Dynamism

In addition to the 64 goals mentioned earlier, Minamino has racked up 44 assists for RB Salzburg. For the Austrian champions, he was often the lynchpin between the midfield and attack. While it is difficult to criticize Liverpool’s current form, a creative player like Minamino will be severely helpful, especially if they find themselves chasing a game, looking for a late equalizer, or winner.

When behind the front players that Liverpool have, he’ll be right along the edge of the final third, creating chances, and running late into the box. Currently, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain have been those dynamic players for Liverpool, but with both having injury issues, and both of them being situated deeper than Minamino hypothetically would, the Japanese will thrive in attacking in Liverpool’s system.

Klopp’s Best Signing Yet?

Liverpool’s signings have, for the large part, been successful under Klopp’s tenure. Players signed by sporting director Michael Edwards like Mané, Robertson, Salah, and Fabinho, have proven that they are worth well beyond what the club initially paid for them. Alisson, and Virgil van Dijk, while costing the club more money, have also clearly shown their worth for the club.

Minamino, for only £7.25 million, is a fantastic deal for Liverpool, and his abilities, plus the potential growth he can show under Klopp, may see him be one of the best signings under the FSG era.

Next. 5 deals Liverpool could make in January. dark

How do you think Takumi Minamino will fare in the Premier League?