Salzburg's Takumi Minamino reacts during the Champions League group E soccer game between Salzburg and Liverpool in Salzburg, Austria, on Tuesday December 10, 2019. (AP Photo / Kerstin Joensson)
LIVERPOOL, England – Takumi Minamino becomes the first Japanese player for Liverpool.
Premier League leaders announced the signing of 24-year-old Minamino on Thursday and said he would officially join on January 1.
"It was a dream, my dream to become a Liverpool player," said the offensive midfielder from Japan. "I'm so excited that the moment has come true."
Minamino made a great impression in the Champions League group stage this season in two games between Liverpool and Salzburg.
As a midfielder who can also play as a striker, Minamino moved to Salzburg from the Japanese club Cerezo Osaka in 2015. He was reported to have a £ 7.25 million ($ 9.5 million) release clause.
Shinji Okazaki won the Premier League title with Leicester in 2016, while Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United), Hidetoshi Nakata (Bolton) and Junichi Inamoto (Arsenal and Fulham) played in the top English division among other Japanese.
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