Having signed Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg ahead of the January transfer window, the 24-year-old Japanese international will join his new teammates shortly and be eligible to play for his new club for the first time against Everton in the FA Cup.
As to why Liverpool targeted the versatile attacker, anyone who saw his performances against the Reds in the Champions League knows the answer, but the club have been tracking him for longer than that and Jürgen Klopp today talked about his signing.
“All the things we know about Takumi fit us very well,” Klopp told the media when asked about Minamino at his pre-Leicester press conference today. “His football skills first and foremost. His decision making in tight areas, speed, desire to win the ball back.”
Running down the list of Minamino’s qualities is like going through a checklist of what makes the ideal player for Klopp’s Liverpool system, and with the club short of depth in attack, there’s a lot of value in adding a player who can take on any position in it.
Still, despite his seemingly perfect fit and that he fills a need for the club, Klopp went on to insist that Minamino will be given time to adjust and won’t be asked to make an instant impact for the club—though coming from a similar system, he might well be able to.
“He’s used to a similar philosophy that we have from Salzburg,” Klopp added. “That’s all really good. Now we have to see how he will adapt when we are allowed to work with him. But in the long term there’s no doubt he will help us. That’s clear.”