'We only had one solution to stop Minamino' - Liverpool star's 'technical skills' talked up by ex-Salzburg coach

Gerhard Struber says the Reds have signed a player capable of giving them a "very, very big advantage" in the final third of the pitch

The only way to stop Liverpool's newest signing Takumi Minamino in full flow is to foul him at the right time, according to former Salzburg coach Gerhard Struber.

The Japan international completed a £7 million ($9m) switch to Anfield from Salzburg on January 1, after scoring 64 goals in 199 outings for the Austrian side.

The 24-year-old scored at Anfield as the Reds earned a 4-3 win over Jesse Marsch's side in the Champions League group stages on October 2, before producing another eye-catching display in the reverse fixture.

Liverpool saw enough talent in Minamino to hand him a four-and-a-half-year contract, and he has already endeared himself to supporters with an energetic performance in his first-ever Merseyside derby.

The mercurial winger made his full debut for the club in a 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Everton last weekend, and is now in line to make his Premier League bow away at Tottenham on Saturday.

Barnsley boss Struber, who served as Salzburg's assistant manager for the 2015-2016 season, thinks Minamino will slot into Jurgen Klopp's squad seamlessly due to the "technical skills" he possesses in both feet.

"I think he'll be a very, very big advantage for Liverpool," Struber told Liverpool's official website. "His style is very close to the style of what Liverpool play.

"The difficult thing is he's top in one-on-one situations for dribbling and he's also good in combinations. I think it's a very big task for every defender. 

"I think the only solution we had was to give him no space and no time. And maybe foul at the right time!

"He's a human with a big heart. I think he also has very, very big technical skills. In the opponent's box, he has a big nose for goals. He has the technical skills in both feet. He can break the rhythm in a game in the offence. 

"He can lure the opponent and on the next step he can break the rhythm in the next level with the tempo of the pass and his speed."

Minamino won five successive Austrian Bundesliga titles at Salzburg, while also picking up four Austrian Cup winner's medals. 

The Japanese star will have the opportunity to add to his trophy haul with the reigning European and World champions, who are on course for more silverware come May.

"It's not a new world for him," Struber added. "I think now he plays with players that are the best in the world. For him, this is the moment to get the next step. This is a big motivation for him to work with these types of colleagues now. 

"I think he's a very calm person. He always will learn, he's very straight with his individual aims. He works very hard every day. He had always questioned what can he do to grow up."