'A wonderful signing' - Jürgen Klopp on Takumi Minamino
Jürgen Klopp expects 'proper team player' Takumi Minamino to make a seamless transition to life at Liverpool after sealing his move from Red Bull Salzburg.
The Japan international will join the Reds on January 1, 2020 having completed a medical and signed a long-term contract with the European champions on Wednesday.
He will arrive at Anfield having won the Austrian title every year since he moved to Salzburg in 2015, scored 64 goals in 199 appearances, and caught the eye of the continent with his performances in this season’s Champions League – including a strike against Klopp’s team.
And the Liverpool manager believes Minamino’s development at Salzburg, where Naby Keita and Sadio Mane also had spells earlier in their careers, makes him well-tuned to the requirements for the Reds.
“This is fabulous news – a wonderful signing. We are really, really happy about this,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“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. He makes the best of himself for the benefit of others.
“His Champions League experience is a big bonus and coming from the club and organisation he does, we know he’ll be well coached, used to an elite environment and had all the right experiences.
“It is fantastic work by our football operations team in how they’ve handled this transfer. Michael Edwards and the team deserve a lot of credit.
“It’s not hard to see why Salzburg is a favoured destination for players with real talent and hunger. From our experiences dealing with, and facing, Salzburg on and off the pitch in recent months, their reputation as a benchmark modern European club will only grow.
“I’m sure all the Liverpool supporters will go out of their way to make Takumi feel at home in our amazing city and club.
“I am also pretty sure as of now we have added to our numbers of the LFC family in Japan specifically. For those who follow us now because we have one of the country’s most exciting talents, I say welcome – it’s a special club to be part of.”