An update has emerged regarding Takumi Minamino’s plans for pre-season with Liverpool amid transfer interest from Southampton..
The 26-year-old has admitted that he wants to return to Merseyside for pre-season and compete for his place in the squad. He spent the second half of last season on loan at Southampton and Ralph Hasenhuttl would reportedly like to re-sign the Japan international if Liverpool decide to sell him.
Last August, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called Minamino a “super professional” after the Reds’ Community Shield clash with Arsenal.
The German told Liverpool’s official website: “So, yes, he can be a real player for us – that was always clear. He came in in the most difficult period of all our lives, I would say, and had to adapt to different things, being alone in England in the lockdown and all that stuff. That’s all not something that’s nice. But he dealt really well with it because he’s a super professional.
“So I’m really pleased for him that he could score the goal today and that’s another big step for him.”
Hasenhuttl must avoid making a grave error over Minamino this summer. The Saints boss should be looking elsewhere in the transfer market instead of trying to bring the midfielder back to St Mary’s for a second spell due to his poor performances for the club this year.
The Japan international did not do enough on the pitch to suggest that Southampton should shell out a transfer fee to bring him back to the south coast on a permanent basis.
The former Salzburg man has made it clear that he would like to earn himself a place in Klopp’s squad at Liverpool next season, so Hasenhuttl should take that hint and drop all interest in him. This update suggests that not only is he not good enough to warrant signing, Minamino is also not particularly keen on joining the Saints, as he would rather be a squad player at Anfield. Therefore, Southampton should be turning their attentions elsewhere.
Minamino caught the eye with two goals in his first three appearances for Southampton. However, he failed to kick on after that, not managing to find the net any more after that quick start, and his overall performances left plenty to be desired. The 26-year-old averaged a meagre WhoScored rating of 6.42 across 10 Premier League appearances for Southampton, which ranked him 15th in the Saints’ squad.
This shows that he was not up to the standard required during his time on the south coast and Saints fans – some of whom vented their disappointment with his performances last term – would probably hate to see the club bring him back as they would not be pleased to see him struggling on the pitch again next season.