Minamino hands Klopp short-term poser at Liverpool after agreeing £7.25m transfer

The Japan international will join the Anfield ranks in January, with his new manager needing to work out how to fit another forward into his plans

Jurgen Klopp admits the arrival of Takumi Minamino will present him with a selection headache at Liverpool, but the Japanese forward is expected to be a shrewd “long-term” addition for the Reds.

A £7.25 million ($10m) deal has been struck with Red Bull Salzburg for the talented 24-year-old.

Minamino will officially join the ranks at Anfield in January, when the winter transfer window swings open.

He will join a squad which already includes the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Finding regular football will not be easy with Liverpool chasing down the Premier League title, with Klopp conceding that he is yet to determine where Minamino will fit into his plans.

He told reporters of the newest arrival on Merseyside: “We will see. All the things we know about Takumi, so many things fit very well to us.

“His football skills first and foremost obviously, his decision-making in tight areas, his speed, his desire to win the ball back. Counter-pressing, he’s used to that because Salzburg have a similar philosophy that we have.

“That’s all really good but then you have to see how he will adapt when he is finally coming over and we are allowed to work with him.

“How can we put him in in the short term? Long-term, there is no doubt that he will help us, that’s clear.”

Minamino will link up with Liverpool in the middle of a campaign which has delivered another nine goals, with 14 efforts recorded for Salzburg last season.

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He will not be cleared to make his debut in a home date with Sheffield United on January 2, but his bow for the Reds could come the following Sunday when an FA Cup derby date with Everton is taken in.

“I’m looking forward to working with him, but between now and Takumi’s first real day at Melwood there’s still three games so I have a little bit of time to think about where he will fit in,” Klopp added.

Liverpool are due at Leicester on Boxing Day, as they return to domestic action after a Club World Cup triumph, before then playing host to Wolves in their final outing of 2019.

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