What’s the latest transfer news involving Takumi Minamino?
The Liverpool Echo claim that Minamino is part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans next season despite attracting interest from Premier League and Bundesliga clubs.
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The report suggests that it would take a healthy profit on the £7.25m that Liverpool spent on the Japanese winger to lure him away from Anfield and he is expected to join up with the squad for pre-season.
What did Jurgen Klopp say about Minamino?
Klopp has been high in his praise for the Japanese international, though stressed that game time was limited for him at Liverpool, therefore sending him out on loan to Southampton was the best solution for all parties.
“He’s [Minamino] done really well there and this is no surprise,” said Klopp in Liverpool’s matchday programme prior to welcoming Southampton to Anfield in May.
“When we allowed him to go in January it was a tough call to make because he is an important player for us and will be again in the future, no doubt. But opportunities at that time had been short with us and therefore going to play somewhere else made sense for him and us.”
Klopp added, “Southampton was perfect because of how Ralph plays and what he demands from his players. I’m pleased he doesn’t face us today, though.”
How did Minamino perform on loan at Southampton?
Minamino hit the ground running at the South Coast club and scored two goals in his opening three games for the Saints, including a deft finish in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
The 26-year-old made nine starts for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton side during his short stint with the club and averaged 1.3 shots per game (via WhoScored), the sixth-highest in their squad.
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Could he struggle to get game time at Liverpool?
It is difficult to see how his situation at Liverpool has changed since he was sent on loan to Southampton earlier this year. If anything, game-time looks even more limited for the winger next season.
Liverpool’s attacking quartet of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota are all ahead of Minamino in the pecking order at the club.
The return of Harvey Elliott will do him no favours either as, according to Goal, the 18-year-old is set to be handed an opportunity to impress Klopp in pre-season with a view of keeping him for the 2021/2022 campaign.
Elliott scored seven goals and registered 11 assists in the Championship for Blackburn Rovers, making him an exciting prospect ahead of next season.
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