Liverpool will hold crunch talks with Takumi Minamino following international duty with the Japan international open to a return to Southampton next term.
When the Reds signed Minamino from RB Salzburg for £7.25million, Jurgen Klopp was over the moon, telling Liverpoolfc.com: “Takumi is a very quick, very clever player, he finds space between the lines. He is brave with the ball but also brave without the ball – a proper team player. He makes the best of himself for the benefit of others.
“This is fabulous news – a wonderful signing. We are really, really happy about this.”
While the German was effusive in his praise for the 26-year-old, his Anfield career hasn’t gone to plan just yet.
He has been decent for Southampton but is yet to kick on the way Liverpool fans had hoped and if Hampshire Live is anything to go by, he could be at St. Mary’s next term.
The report claims that Liverpool are set to hold crunch talks with Minamino following his return to England in June after he scored two goals for Japan against Mynamar, with their understanding being that the forward is open to spending the season with Southampton.
This comes just hours after I wrote an article about why I think he could actually make an impact at Liverpool next season if given enough game time and trusted to be the focal point of the Reds’ attack.
I wrote: “Before a decision can be made on his future he either needs a full season on loan or more time in the Liverpool starting XI and given Roberto Firmino’s struggles over the last year, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Minamino, who Transfermarkt value at £10.5m, start ahead of Bobby Firmino.”
My hope is that if he does go to Southampton this summer that it’s only on loan as he is a player full of potential and one that I am desperate to see succeed at Liverpool and his display against Crystal Palace in December paints the picture of why.
WhoScored.com gave him an 8.4/10 score for his performance and it was the first time we saw the Minamino that we witnessed when RB Salzburg visited Anfield early in the 2019/20 Champions League season.
The forward scored at Selhurst Park with his one-shot on target, had 56 touches, an 87% pass accuracy and a 100% dribble success rate from six attempted take ons.
We were finally seeing Minamino as we expected when he signed for the club but exactly 14 days later, he was signed on loan by Ralph Hasenhutl.
It would be really disappointing if Liverpool sold Minamino this summer as he’s a gifted player and could be special for the Reds if he got the chance.
Alas, with Jurgen Klopp under pressure to deliver results and silverware, he doesn’t have the freedom to experiment.
At least if he stays in the Premier League, Liverpool fans won’t have to look too far to see him in action and Southampton’s style of play is a good fit for his silky ability on the ball.