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Minamino loaned out to Southampton: Klopp explains surprise decision

Takumi Minamino
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The Japan international completed a switch from Anfield to St Mary’s in the final few hours of the January transfer deadline day.

Jurgen Klopp admits he didn’t provide Takumi Minamino consistent playing time as the manager explains the player’s move away from Liverpool.

Minamino became the first Japanese player to join Liverpool after the club activated his £7.25 million (€8.2m) release clause last year.

The former RB Salzburg star has the ability to play in a number of positions but struggled to become a regular in the Reds line-up. He featured in 31 games, only 12 of which have been starts, ever since his arrival in January 2019.

The Japanese forward completed a switch to Southampton on Monday on loan until the end of the season. Southampton, who have agreed to pay Liverpool a £500,000 loan fee, do not have the option to make the move permanent.

“We really thought about it,” Klopp said about the move, via Goal. “Takumi is an incredibly good player. We didn’t give him enough chances, that is the truth.

“Sometimes for different reasons. Sometimes it was just the size when defending set-pieces, because we were not tall enough. These kind of things make the difference why one player plays and another does not.

“There were not a lot of clubs where I thought it made a lot of sense but Southampton is one. He is there for 17 games. If he stays fit I think there is a good chance for him to play all 17 games which helps everybody.

“The only thing he was lacking was a couple of games in a row. That is difficult here. I would have loved to keep him just to have the option, but in the end Takumi is a long-term project, he always was. We see a lot of potential in him and so it absolutely makes sense he gets out and hopefully plays 17 games, then comes back in a different mindset and confidence level. I hope it is a win-win situation.”