As of today, Takumi Minamino is a Red, with the 24-year-old Japanese international passing his medical and signing from Red Bull Salzburg on a four-and-a-half year deal after the club triggered his £7.25M release clause.
While the club won’t be able to register him until the transfer window opens in January, and he won’t be eligible to play for the club until their game on the 5th against Everton in the FA Cup, it’s an exciting move—for everyone.
“It has been a dream,” Minamino told the club’s official website in his unveiling interview. “I’m so excited that the moment has come true. I’ve known about it for a while. To play in the Premier League was one of my targets.
“I think this is the top-class league in the world. I was thinking if my career as a footballer progressed smoothly, someday I would be able to play in the Premier League. But I never thought I would be able to play in this team.”
While many casual fans won’t have been keeping a close eye on the Austrian Bundesliga and so maybe won’t have seen much of him before this season, the club have been tracking Minamino for years, watching his progress.
And for even the more casual fans, his performances against Liverpool in the Champions League group stage this season were impossible to overlook, with the versatile forward Salzburg’s standout player on both occasions.
As for Minamino’s goals now, he knows cracking a forward line that includes Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané, and Mohamed Salah will be tough—but he thinks he at least has an edge when it comes to adjusting to his new team.
“Of course it’s not an easy challenge,” he noted. “But having the mentality of challenging those players is important to keep the team’s high level. That sort of mentality is important for the team and I certainly will play with that mentality.
“I think one of my strengths will be to be able to communicate with [Jürgen Klopp] in German—because I speak a bit of German—and I’m really looking forward to it. I think he is one of the best managers in the world.
“I always want to improve myself, so it would be great if I could make a contribution to the growth of the team and myself.”