The Japan international, who played the Maurice Revello Tournament 2016, has joined the European champions this week.
Spectators who filled the stands of the Stade Antoine Baptiste (Six-Fours-Les-Plages) on this 25th May 2016 as well as the viewers front of their TV screens probably still remember this moment : Japan earned a 2-1 win over Guinea in this Maurice Revello Tournament group stage game thanks to a goal scored by Takumi Minamino. The Osaka-born found the net with a curled effort.
If he wasn't very famous at that moment, the Japanese made a name for himself since this goal. To the point where he has convinced one of the best clubs in the world to sign him over the last days. Liverpool announced this week the sigining of the 24-year-old forward in a four-and-a-half-year deal. According to local medias, the European champions have activated the release clause, estimated at €8M, to sign the Japanese from Red Bull Salzburg.
« This is fabulous news – a wonderful signing. We are really, really happy about this », said the Reds coach Jürgen Klopp following the signing of Minamino. « Our supporters have had the chance to see him close up recently so I don’t need to sing too loudly about his qualities as they are already known. Takumi is a very quick, very clever player, he finds space between the lines. He is brave with the ball but also brave without the ball – a proper team player. », commented the German coach.
The latter is refering to the double encounter between Liverpool and Salzburg in the Champions League this season. Minamino has shown his talent at Anfield by scoring a goal and providing an assist. In the second leg, the Japanese didn't found the net but he impressed once again by his ability to find space between the lines.
Except this double encounter, Minamino convinced the Liverpool board thanks to his displays with Red Bull Salzburg and his national team over the last months. The 2018-2019 campaign proved to be a turning point for Minamino. Last season, the Reds new signing announced himself on the continental scene by scoring a hat-trick against Rosenborg (5-2) and a goal against Celtic (3-1) in Europa League.
At the same time, Minamino established himself as a starter for the Japan national team. Goals against Costa Rica (3-0), Panama (3-0) and a brace against Uruguay (4-3) allowed him to definitively secure a spot in the starting XI. To this day, Minamino boasts a tally of 11 goals in 22 games for the Samurai Blue.
These statistics illustrate that he's the main offensive asset of his national team. And his arrival at Liverpool will reinforce this status...