This January could prove to be a pivotal month for Liverpool. There are a number of key games for the club and the transfer window has been a relatively busy one so far. Jürgen Klopp has identified Naby Keita as the man to help Takumi Minamino settle in to life at Anfield.
The Reds signed Minamino in December, with the Japanese forward joining the club on the 1st of January. Michael Edwards bagged a bargain with this move, paying just £7.25m for the former Red Bull Salzburg man.
Of course, there will be a bedding in period for the new arrival. Minamino is the first Japanese player to play for Liverpool and we can safely say that Merseyside is very different to both Japan and Salzburg.
Thankfully for the gaffer, Naby Keita has had a similar career to Takumi Minamino. The pair both spent time at RB Salzburg, their spells overlapping briefly. Naby was at the club between 2014-16 whilst Minamino was there from 2015.
According to the Liverpool ECHO, Roberto Firmino has been dislodged from his spot in the changing room in order to place Minamino next to Naby Keita.
What RTK has to say
This makes a lot of sense. We cannot underestimate how difficult it can be for footballers moving to somewhere so drastically different to what they are used to. We must also consider the language barrier – according to the ECHO, Minamino has been communicating primarily in German whilst he continues with his English lessons.
Fingers crossed we will see Takumi settle in quickly and he’ll hit his best form for the Reds sooner rather than later.