Be honest, had you heard of Takumi Minamino before Salzburg travelled to Anfield in week two of the Champions League group stage? Obviously the cool kids who watch football 25 hours a day knew him in microscopic detail, and could tell you about the perfectly weighted throughball he made at under 12 level in the local Japanese league. But for us mere mortals, the only recollection for me was a brief look at the basic stats, and noticing he was one of their key players pre-match in terms of chance creation and shot volume. Then, immediately after we had eliminated Salzburg with a two-nil victory in Austria, it was ‘announced’ – in recent Liverpool tradition with a series of tweets from all the red-tinted hacks (who had clearly been briefed) – that Minamino was set to be the Reds’ next signing, in January, for a reported release clause of around seven million pounds.
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