Takumi Minamino played his third match out on loan on Saturday afternoon since leaving Liverpool for Southampton on deadline-day.
Minamino was in amongst the goals again as Southampton secured a much-needed point against a resurgent Chelsea.
The Saints put an end to a six-match losing run following the 1-1 stalemate at St Mary’s – their first points in the division since the 1-0 victory against Liverpool on January 4.
Minamino played a key role, too. He scored Southampton’s only goal of the afternoon, with a stunning improvisation of skill to get the better of César Azpilicueta and Edouard Mendy, before slotting the ball into an empty net.
In a game lacking possession and chances, Minamino provided his team with the moment of quality that ultimately put an end to a barren run of results.
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Southampton have moved back to 13th in the league standings, just four points behind 10th-placed Arsenal.
Minamino is for now being well appreciated at his new, temporary home. Southampton’s Twitter account used two-words to summarise his impact: ‘Calmness personified.’
The Athletic’s Liverpool FC correspondent, James Pearce further elaborated with an amusing outtake on the club’s decision to loan out the in-form Southampton forward.
Minamino’s Liverpool teammate Neco Willams was also quick to react to the Japanese international’s latest performance, as was his Southampton attacking counterpart, Nathan Redmond.
This is what Minamino needed
Minamino left on loan for one fundamental reason: He simply needs to be playing football.
He has already started more games (three) with Southampton this season, than the entirety he has clocked up with Liverpool (two) in 2020/21.
If he carries on playing like this, Minamino will really force Jurgen Klopp’s attention for next season.
Liverpool did the right thing by letting him leave, it wasn’t fair to keep him on the sidelines. If he keeps on scoring, though, there will be questions as to whether his game time at Anfield could have been managed more effectively.