When Liverpool signed Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg midway through the 2019/2020 season, not many of the Anfield faithful expected him to disrupt the iconic triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane.
A fee of £7.25m was seen as a bargain and he would be useful coming off the bench or utilised in cup matches.
The Japanese player went on to make 14 appearances in all competitions as the club claimed their first Premier League title. Jurgen Klopp also lavished plenty of praise on the winger, labelling him a “constant threat” after an excellent performance against Norwich in the FA Cup last season.
This should have been the catalyst for the 27-year-old to stake his claim to be a regular fixture in the starting XI, especially with Mane leaving during the summer, however, Minamino was also sold, joining AS Monaco for a fee of £15.5m.
It appears that FSG has certainly played a blinder in managing to get double what they originally paid for the Japanese star, especially with his struggles this season in Ligue 1.
He has an average rating of 6.88/10, which is modest enough, yet he hasn’t quite hit the heights expected of him since making the move to France.
His creative output has clearly been left on Merseyside, with the winger averaging just 0.3 key passes per match and creating only two big chances.
A return of just one goal and three assists is again, below the standards expected and with Monaco currently sitting fifth in the table, more is required from Minamino if they are looking to achieve a Champions League spot for next season.
The 27-year-old has been included in the Japan squad for the World Cup and he remains one of the country’s figureheads, although he will need to be at his best in order to help his nation qualify from a group containing Germany, Spain and Costa Rica.
Despite Liverpool’s struggles this season, making a solid profit on the Monaco player looks like another solid piece of transfer business conducted by the club’s ownership.