Liverpool should axe Takumi Minamino this summer as Jurgen Klopp looks to rebuild his first team squad.
What’s the story?
According to Hampshire Live, the Anfield outfit have changed their stance over the 26-year-old and are now open to letting him leave during the upcoming transfer window.
The report claims that Liverpool are keen to make a profit on the player they bought for just £7.25m 18 months ago and that Minamino is open to a return to Southampton after enjoying a short-term loan on the south coast.
He’s been shocking
Although the Japan international arrived on Merseyside with a sizeable amount of expectation after impressing in Champions League fixtures against the Reds, he’s struggled to live up to those hopes during his time with Klopp’s charges.
Minamino managed just four goals and two assists in 31 Liverpool appearances before being shipped off to the Saints in January, despite his parent club’s struggles.
The fact that Klopp was willing to let the diminutive forward depart despite the huge drop-off in form Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were experiencing throughout 2020/21 is rather telling of where the 26-year-old lies in the German’s plans.
However, Minamino’s time with Southampton was slightly more successful (two goals in 10 games), and his energetic style clearly won over manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
“I must say. He was a very lively factor in our game, in the games he played. He not only scored fantastic goals but his mentality and his character really fit into our team. You can see why a club like Liverpool wanted to sign him,” said the Austrian.
“He did a good job here. We gave him a chance to show up. We will have a look what happens in the summer, we will see what Liverpool want to do. There are discussions going on, but we will have a look in the summer.”
Nevertheless, Minamino’s improvement under Hassenhuttl doesn’t hide the fact that the £75,000-per-week Liverpool flop was largely underwhelming, receiving a lowly WhoScored rating of 6.39 for the 2020/21 season.
Money is expected to be tight at Anfield this summer, and Klopp could use the funds generated by his sale to invest in the starting XI, greatly improving Liverpool’s chances of regaining their Premier League crown next season.