Leeds United could have their sights set on a ready-made Raphinha replacement…
According to transfer insider Dean Jones, writing for GIVEMESPORT, Liverpool outcast Takumi Minamino could emerge as a potential option for the Yorkshire giants as he is expected to leave Anfield this summer.
Current Whites boss Jesse Marsch coached him at RB Salzburg and knows him very, very well.
If the Japan international does indeed depart the Champions League finalists, it remains to be seen exactly how much he’d command, with Transfermarkt valuing him at just £10.8m having cost £7.25m in December 2019.
In Austria, it was arguably Marsch who got the best out of the 27-year-old winger. Minamino’s fluid attacking role allowed him to ‘unlock doors, pick a pass, and move with an elegant gait.’
Such form led to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp praising the wide man, prior to his switch to England, claiming to reporters: “I’d like to have Minamino in Liverpool. He’s classy. The best talent.”
Minamino has been used sparingly since his move, even being forced out on loan to Southampton at the back end of the 2020/21 campaign, where he delivered two goals across ten appearances.
The arrivals of Diogo Jota and more recently, Luis Diaz, have effectively pushed the Japanese dynamo out the door, though that said, he still managed 11 direct goal contributions this season, including eight in domestic cup competitions, where he regularly started.
It would make sense for Marsch to target his former sensation as Raphinha appears to be on the verge of sealing a move to FC Barcelona, who have been linked with interest all season.
“He is not a purely explosive player like Sadio Mane or Mo Salah – he has physical qualities, but he is a really intelligent footballer. It may take time for everyone to fully appreciate his qualities, but it will come,” Marsch once claimed to the ECHO.
If Leeds want to seal a perfect replacement for Raphinha, then they should look no further than the Liverpool man. He’ll need little time to adapt to the Premier League.