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Five years after standing side by side Nguyen Cong Phuong, this man will join LIVERPOOL!

Five years after standing side by side Nguyen Cong Phuong, this man will join LIVERPOOL!

"Messi of Japan" Takumi Minamino will likely move to Merseyside club Liverpool in the winter transfer window, while "Messi of Vietnam" Nguyen Cong Phuong is an unused substituted player in Belgian club Sint-Truidense.

According to Japanese media, Liverpool FC has agreed a January deal in principle with Red Bull Salzburg for Takumi Minamino, who has a paltry release clause of just 7.25 million pounds.

It seems that Klopp suggested buying the Japanese international player after watching him play against The Reds in UEFA Champions League. Minamino is called "Messi of Japan" because of similarities in playing style between him and the Argentinian star.

Juergen Klopp always likes Japanese players. When he worked as the manager at Dortmund, he decided to buy Shinji Kagawa from Cerezo Osaka after seeing him play on YouTube.

Five years after standing side by side Nguyen Cong Phuong, this man will join LIVERPOOL!

Under Klopp's management, Kagawa achieved two Bundesliga titles before joining Manchester United. After that, Kagawa and Klopp also worked together one more season when Dortmund used the buy-back clause to bring him back to Signal Iduna Park in 2014.

Coincidentally, like Kagawa, Minamino also started his professional career at Cerezo Osaka. In the case of Minamino, he improved so much after five years.

In 2014 he and Japanese youngsters in Japan U19 team had a very hard game against Vietnam U19. Many Vietnamese players who faced Minamino at that time are vital men in the senior team at the moment, including Nguyen Cong Phuong.

However, while "Messi of Japan" sets to join the current champion of the UEFA Champions League, "Messi of Vietnam" is burying his career in Sint-Truidense. He has just played 20 minutes for the first team in the 2019/20 season.