Takumi Minamino is ready to embrace the challenge of competing with “world-class” Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for minutes at Liverpool, with a £7.25 million ($10m) deal having been pushed through.
The Reds have announced that the Japan international will link up with them once the January transfer window opens.
Minamino arrives on Merseyside from Red Bull Salzburg, with a relatively low exit clause in his contract having been triggered.
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The 24-year-old forward is set to add even more creativity and goal threat to Liverpool’s already star-studded attacking unit.
Salah and Mane, along with Brazilian frontman Roberto Firmino, are the established options at Anfield, with Divock Origi proving to be a useful alternative.
Minamino faces a fight to earn regular game time, but he claims to be relishing that competition.
He told Liverpool’s official website of working with Salah, Mane and Co: “Not only them, there are many world-class players here and of course it’s not an easy challenge.
“It’s not easy to overtake those players to get a position 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.”
Minamino is also going to be working with Jurgen Klopp, a Champions League-winning manager that he holds in the highest regard and one expected to bring even more out of his game.
“I’m looking forward to working with Jurgen Klopp, I think one of my strengths will be to be able to communicate with him in German – because I speak a bit of German – and I’m really looking forward to it,” added the Reds new boy.
“I think he is one of the best managers in the world and 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.”
Minamino arrives at Liverpool with a reputation for delivering end product, having reached double figures for goals in each of the last four seasons, and hopes to bring those qualities with him to England.
He added: “I’m an offensive player so I always want to assist and score goals.
“I would like to maintain that quality and the number of situations that directly lead to more goals and assists. I think that is my strength, so I would like to show that strength of mine in this team.”
Liverpool’s first outing of 2020 will see them take in a Premier League home date with Sheffield United, before then facing neighbours Everton in an FA Cup third round derby and the Japan star could well make his debut against the Toffees.