Red Bull Salzburg duo Hwang Hee-Chan and Enock Mwepu have the talent and potential to follow Takumi Minamino to Liverpool, the Austrian giants’ manager Jesse Marsch has told the Liverpool Echo.
There are certainly a few stylistic similarities between a side transformed into Europe’s best by Jurgen Klopp and a Salzburg side who have provided a platform for some of the hottest young talents in the game today.
While Klopp will forever be remembered for the all-action, high-octane style that made him the toast of the continent at Borussia Dortmund before that 2015 move to Anfield, Red Bull’s head of sport and development Ralf Rangnick is perhaps the ‘godfather of ‘gegenpressing’.
That, in theory, means Minamino should be tailor-made for Klopp’s blueprint although the Japanese international has endured a slow start to life on Merseyside since his bargain January switch.
And Marsch is confident that Minamino is not the only member of his Salzburg team who could thrive at Anfield.
“Jurgen Klopp thinks similarly to [Red Bull’s head of sport and development] Ralf Rangnick and the way we think, so he is always looking here,” says Marsch, the first US coach to patrol the touchline in the Champions League proper.
“Liverpool have the money where they can get these players and you could extend it to other players like Hwang and Mwepu. There are a lot of players here that would fit Liverpool’s system.
“When you’re scouting, one of the hardest things to do is to understand how a player will adapt to a new culture, a new system.
“Between the mentality, the playing ability and the style, it’s easy for Liverpool to handpick the best players from teams who play similarly to what they do – and certainly Red Bull is at the top of that list.”
Hwang, a busy and exciting South Korean forward with 13 goals and 16 assists to his name this season, has actually been linked with a move to Liverpool’s Stanley Park neighbours Everton by the Liverpool Echo.
He will cost at least £34 million.
Mwepu, meanwhile, is a hard-working Zambian midfielder perhaps in the mould of another Red Bull graduate – Naby Keita.