Southampton are being linked with a loan move for Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino ahead of the new season, but it could prove to be a disastrous decision to bring him back to the south coast.
According to talkSPORT, Ralph Hasenhuttl is keen on reuniting with the Japan international next season after he spent the second half of the 2020/21 campaign on loan at St Mary’s, and the Saints have reportedly made enquiries about his availability.
Last season saw the former RB Salzburg man feature 10 times in the Premier League for Southampton, contributing just two goals and no assists and averaging a disappointing 6.42 rating from WhoScored.
Premier League rules dictate that top-flight clubs are allowed two loans per season, and after Armando Broja joined on loan from Chelsea earlier this week, Minamino would be taking up the final spot if he were to return, which would be a waste when you consider the options Hasenhuttl already has in that position.
Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond and Moussa Djenepo are all likely to feature heavily out wide this season, whilst Mohammed Elyounoussi has also returned from Celtic, which would leave little room for Minamino in Hasenhuttl’s side.
The 26-year-old could also stunt the development of Nathan Tella, who looks set for regular football in 2021/22 after impressing in recent months, so it would make very little sense to bring in Minamino this summer.
Although the £10.8m-rated Japanese winger was described as a “machine” by Jurgen Klopp early last season, he didn’t show that during his time at Southampton and struggled to have much impact going forward, so there is little to suggest that he would be a success in Hasenhuttl’s side if he were to return to the Saints.
Therefore, Martin Semmens should definitely avoid bringing Minamino back to St Mary’s this summer, as it makes very little sense to sign him considering the wide options already available in Hasenhuttl’s squad.