A fellow countryman’s affection for his former Dortmund coach far outweighed his allegiance to the Red Devils.
Takumi Minamino has shown that former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa helped to convince him to move to Liverpool.
Minamino was snapped up for a possible bargain fee of #7.25 million ($9.5m) from the January transfer window, with the 25-year-old having captured the Anfield side’s eye when turning out from them for Red Bull Salzburg from the Champions League.
Kagawa registered only six goals and eight Premier League assists during his two seasons with the Reds’ most bitter rivals, but the 30-year-old had no difficulties with his fellow Japan international creating a move to Merseyside.
Having played Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in Borussia Dortmund, Kagawa explained the German as among the”greatest coaches in the world”.
“I talked to Maya Yoshida in Southampton but I did not ask him about Liverpool,” Minamino stated in an interview to the Reds’ official programme. “I told him that I’d be coming into the Premier League, though, I never told him it would be Liverpool!
“I also talked to Shinji Kagawa as he’d played for Jurgen Klopp in Dortmund, also. Klopp spoke to me about Shinji and Shinji talked about Klopp and out of that I could feel that they had a great relationship.
“Shinji said that Klopp was among the greatest coaches in the world and now I am here and working for him I also have realised that he is among the best coaches around.”
Really, Kagawa was effusive in his praise for Minamino after securing a move to Anfield, taking to Twitter following the move was finalised and saying:”Congratulations! You’re starting the ideal challenge! Believe in yourself and do your best under the best manager in the world!”
Minamino is presently being eased into Klopp’s first-team plans, taking in just four appearances for the Premier League champions elect to date.
And, even though the attacker is to register a goal or an assist for his new side, big things are expected of a participant that Klopp advised to”play in any way I wish to play with”.
Minamino may well get an opportunity to express himself and open his account for the Reds when they take on Chelsea from the FA Cup on Tuesday.