Liverpool’s January recruit Takumi Minamino has revealed the two former Reds heroes who had a part to play in the playmaker’s decision to take his talents to Anfield.
Minamino, 25, signed for the European champions earlier this month following a bargain £7.25m [BBC Sport] deal with RB Salzburg.
The Japan international made his debut in the FA Cup third-round victory against Everton before earning his Premier League debut at Molineux a week ago in the Reds’ 2-1 victory against Wolves after being handed a baptism of fire following the hamstring injury to Sadio Mane.
Minamino could be handed his first start since joining the club when the Premier League leaders welcome Southampton to Anfield this afternoon.
He is yet to be included in Jurgen Klopp’s PL XI since his move from the Austrian champions. Minamino clocked up 199 appearances at Salzburg scoring 64 goals in that period whilst registering 44 assists – he also scored at Anfield when the two teams met in the Champions League earlier this season.
Minamino is the first Japan player ever to sign for Liverpool following his January move. Whilst a whole host of Europe’s top sides were also reportedly interested in securing the forward’s services, Minamino reveals why Liverpool was his prefered destination – and what two former Reds heroes inspired him from an early age.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, he said: “The reason why I chose to come to Liverpool was that playing for Liverpool was one of my dreams since my childhood, so I had no reason to say no to them
“I like Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres and Liverpool was one of my favourite clubs growing up.
“I was very impressed with their strong mentality to come back from 3-0 down and I remember how they played in that second half [against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final].”
Minamino was Liverpool’s only incoming during the January transfer window and will look to play a part in the club’s pursuit of a first league title since 1990.