Liverpool only considered Takumi Minamino joining Southampton, according to reports. The Reds didn’t want him going anywhere else.
This comes from the Athletic. They detail how Takumi Minamino joined Southampton in a deal that took just a few hours in its entirety.
Things happened so rapidly, in fact, that no agents were involved. This was purely between the two clubs.
Southampton weren’t even asking about Minamino at first – they wanted Neco Williams on loan as they searched for a right-back.
Clearly, though, the clubs found common ground on Minamino. They then pushed the deal over the line.
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It’s an interesting deal, too. Southampton pay an initial £500k but that drops depending on how many games he plays. Liverpool essentially guaranteeing their player gets games, then.
One other notable point is that Liverpool didn’t want Minamino to go anywhere but Southampton. They had three good reasons for that.
You can sum the three reasons up with a name: Ralph Hasenhuttl. Liverpool must rate the Southampton boss highly.
Their first reason for wanting Minamino at the Saints is the style of football. They play a high-energy, high-pressing style that is very similar to Liverpool.
If Minamino clicks there, the Reds can assume he’ll finally click back at Anfield, too.
Reason two? The relationship between Hasenhuttl and Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool boss clearly trusts Hasenhuttl to benefit Minamino.
And that comes out in their third reason. Liverpool like Southampton’s recent reputation for making players better.
They’ve seen that up close, of course, with the rapid rise of Danny Ings. Liverpool sold him there and the Saints quickly kicked him up a few levels to become on of the country’s best forwards.
Hopefully, they can do something similar with Minamino.
All in all, then, this is a deal that Liverpool like. They have Southampton covering Minamino’s wages while, hopefully, he comes back a better player.
He’s certainly one to watch for the rest of the season.