Liverpool will reportedly complete a £7.25m move for RB Salzburg’s Takumi Minamino that could see a change of tactics.
Several outlets report the move, including the BBC, as the Reds prepare to meet a release clause.
We suggested Liverpool should ‘monitor’ Minamino back in October after a fine performance at Anfield. The 24-year-old played brilliantly from the right and looked like a natural fit for the club.
For one thing, his touch is fantastic. Minamino links up wonderfully, plays at pace and – best of all – he’s capable of playing in tight areas in and around the box.
Above all, Minamino’s movement is brilliant. The way he can drift around and create chaos suits Liverpool perfectly and that will give Jurgen Klopp more options.
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And that’s what we mean by a change of tactics with Minamino. It’s not as though Klopp would ditch the wildly successful 4-3-3 but the options available grow.
Minamino and Liverpool’s tactics
Minamino plays predominantly as an attacking midfielder. That on its own means the 4-2-3-1 becomes more viable, given that Liverpool don’t have an out-and-out No. 10 right now. It’s an obvious, solid benefit to signing him and immediately the squad is more flexible.
But even on the right, he offers something different simply in the way he’s more likely to drift inside than attack the channels like Salah.
You can already see how that would work with the overlapping runs of Trent Alexander-Arnold. On top of that, it suits the right-hand position in the 4-2-3-1, where it’s more of a playmaker role with less focus on goalscoring. Minamino would have a licence to drift in and around defenders where pace and directness isn’t the key to success.
It wouldn’t be an expensive signing and Minamino still needs to prove himself. But right from the start, you can see the real benefits of Liverpool getting this one done.