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SPORTS UPDATE

Minamino happy to face fresh experience in new league

Former Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino has now been officially announced as an AS Monaco player on the clubs’ official social media channels.

Minamino spent two and a half years at Liverpool, scoring 14 goals in 55 outings and playing a crucial role in Liverpool’s two domestic cup wins last season.

Joining from RB Salzburg in 2020, he went on to lift both of these titles and receive a Premier League winners medal under Jurgen Klopp.

Now he moves to pastures new, Minamino can expect many more minutes on-field than before in the French principality and has joined up with his new teammates in Portugal on their pre-season tour.

“It’s a new challenge for me, a new team, a new country, a new championship: Ligue 1.”

“I am very excited about the idea to join the team.”

Minamino was always signed as an understudy to the esteemed front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – yet Liverpool fans’ have universally appreciated the contributions he made – especially last season.

He scored in the early rounds of the Carabao Cup against Norwich (2) and Preston North End before his emphatic equaliser against Leicester City in the dying seconds.

He did miss a penalty in the shootout, but it didn’t matter due to heroics from Caoimhin Kelleher.

In the FA Cup, a crunching effort against Cardiff City was followed by two more strikes against Norwich to dispatch them once more.

He even aided the Reds in the Premier League, with his first-ever goals at Anfield in the competition coming against Arsenal and subsequently Brentford.

An equaliser against Southampton, the club he spent time on loan at in 2020/21, would turn out to be his final goal for the Reds.

“I’m sure there will be those who think it didn’t quite work out (at Liverpool). Those who think this are wrong. I don’t accept that,” Klopp said via the Mirror.

“An amazing professional, super talented player. As a person, he is full of warmth and makes everyone feel positive. A manager’s dream, to be honest.

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