Jurgen Klopp felt it “really made sense” to let Takumi Minamino join Southampton on loan until the end of the season.
Minamino officially joined Liverpool in January 2020 after they activated his £7.25m release clause. He had enjoyed a fruitful five-years with Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg.
The winger got 64 goals and 44 assists for them from just short of 200 appearances. He scored against Liverpool in the Champions League in October 2019 as Salzburg were defeated 4-3 at Anfield.
Minamino has played 31 times for Liverpool and he has scored four times. But he has only started twice in the Premier League this season.
Southampton swooped on deadline day to sign him on loan for the remainder of this campaign. Speaking during his latest press conference, as cited by The Metro, Klopp admitted that Minamino has not been given enough chances at Liverpool:
“Yeah, of course, having options makes it the only chance that you can give a player to another club. When Southampton asked it wasn’t that we said: “no, no, no chance”. We thought about it and Takumi is an incredibly good player and we didn’t give him enough chances. That’s the truth.
“That’s for different reasons, sometimes it was just the size – because of our problems in defence we weren’t tall enough and then Takumi on the pitch and I think, “how can we do that?”, defending set pieces is a very important part.
“In some moments these kind of things make the difference why one player is playing and the other not.
“So when Southampton came up, there were not a lot of clubs where I thought it made really sense to let him go but Southampton makes a lot of sense.
“He’s there for 17 days now. In the situation Southampton is, I think if Takumi stays fit he will have a good chance to play 17 games, which helps everybody. It helps Southampton, it helps us. Because the only thing Takumi was lacking was a couple of games in a row. That was difficult here.
“I would have loved to keep him just to have the options. But in the end, because Takumi is a long-term project – he always was – we see really a lot of potential in Takumi.
“It makes sense that now he maybe gets to play 17 Premier League games and comes back in a completely different mindset, confidence level, all this kind of things. I hope it’s a win-win situation.”