Date of birth 16 January 1995 (age 25)
Height 1.74 m
Playing position Attacking midfielder / winger
Current team Liverpool
Club Career 1 Cerezo Osaka (2007~2014)
He joined Cerezo Osaka youth team at the age of 12. In 2009, Minamino participate in Japan’s U15 club Youth Soccer Championship Tournament and helped his team go through quarterfinal. In this championship, he became top goal scorer.
In the 19th J league youth championship in 2011, he became top goal scorer again, scoring 13 goals in 8 games. Being evaluated his great achievement, he got promoted to the top team and made his professional debut in August 2012.
In 2013, he showed great performance as a regular starting member in spite of his young age, scoring 8 goals in 38 appearances.
In 2014, His last season of Cerezo Osaka was a struggling one, with the club eventually getting relegated despite his effort. Under the circumstances, he got offers from several European club. He thought about it over and over, and decided to move to Austrian team, FC Red Bull Salzburg.
Club Career 2 Red Bull Salzburg (2015~2019)
On 14 February 2015, he made his debut, where he started a match in a left-wing position. On 4 March, just after his debut match, he scored 2 goals, which was his first goal after moving to Salzburg.
In 2015~16 season, he adapted himself to Salzburg’s style and achieved good result, scoring 10 goals and gave 6 assists in 40 appearances.
In 2016~17 season, on 19 February, he scored his first hat-trick against SV Ried. In this season, he scored 14 goals and gave 4 assists in 40 appearances.
In 2017~18 season, he scored against Hibernians Football Club in second round of champions league qualifying. However, Salzburg lose to Rijeka in third round.
Just after that, he suffered a ligament tear, which took 6 weeks from him. On 14 October, he returned, coming on as a substitute. On 5 November, Soon after his recovered, he scored 2 goals against SV Mattersburg. In this season, he scored 7 goals in 28 appearances.
In 2018~19 season, he scored his second hat-trick against Rosenborg Ballklub in UEFA Europe league group stage. In this season, he scored 6 goals in 27 appearances.
In 2019~20 season, he made a good start, scoring 3 goals in first 4 games. In champions league group stage against Liverpool, on 3 October, he scored 1 goal and gave 1 assist. As a result, 3-4 defeat to Liverpool however, they fought well against defending champion and surprised soccer fans around world. In this match, Jürgen Norbert Klopp, Liverpool coach, was interested in him and Liverpool decided to have him on their team.
On January 1, 2020, Liverpool confirmed Minamino will transfer from Salzburg.
Jürgen Norbert Klopp said “Takumi is a very quick, very clever player, he finds space between the lines. He is brave with the ball but also brave without the ball—a proper team player. He makes the best of himself for the benefit of others.”
Minamino also commented on Twitter as follow “It has been a dream, my dream to become a Liverpool player. And I’m so excited that the moment has come true. To play in the Premier league was one of my targets. I think this is the top-class league in the world.”
Club Career 3 Liverpool (2020~)
On January 1 2020, he became a Reds player with the no.18 after he passed a medical.
He made his debut for Liverpool in a 1-0 win over Everton in the FA Cup third round on January 5. About 7 months later, in the FA Community Shield Final on August 29, he was substituted as left-wing midfielder at 59 minute when the team was 1 goal behind. His first goal for Liverpool came in the 73rd minute and was a precious equalizer.
After that, he scored first goal in Premier league on December 19 and was praised his performance from a lot of medias. However, he has scored only 4 goals and played 16 matches in 2020-21 season. He is inferior to the 3 big forwards: Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah in experience, ability and familiarity and he has other rivals: Diogo José and Divock Okoth Origi. This circumstance makes it difficult for him to be a starting lineup.
Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool coach said “ He can have an impact, that’s why we signed him. That’s easily said. he can be a real player for us – that was always clear. He came in in the most difficult period of all our lives, I would say, and had to adapt to different things, being alone in England and all that stuff. That’s all not something that’s nice.”
Joe Gomez, his England teammate said “ He’s a happy guy, positive and got a nice aura to him, But to be fair, everyone was aware of him from when we played them – just like when he came to Anfield, what he did and how well he took the game. I think as well his desire to press and adapt to our style of play. Obviously the gaffer wants us to play a certain way and he has that tenacity about him to want to get about and put pressure on. An unbelievable addition.”
As described, he is highly evaluated, but it is also a fact that he can’t get a satisfactory result so far. He has to change himself and make a progress to survive in the world champion club.
I’ll continue to watch his match and wish him all the best!