Takumi Minamino has admitted he was “the most surprised of anyone” when Liverpool made the decision to allow him to join Southampton on loan.
After signing in January 2020, the Japan international has found minutes difficult to come by and spent much of the first half of the season on the Reds bench.
Then with minutes of the January window remaining, Jurgen Klopp made the decision to send Minamino to Southampton for the rest of the season.
“I would have loved to keep him just to have the options,” Klopp explained after the deal. “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.”
He has certainly managed to get more minutes for the Saints, scoring two goals in his first six Premier League matches for the club.
Opening up on his move, Minamino revealed that there had been no prior warning about leaving, but it was a chance he was excited to take.
“It was the last day [of the transfer window], after training – around five o’clock, I think. Some guys called me, and it just happened,” he told the club’s official site.
“I didn’t expect it at all, so I was probably the most surprised of anyone when I got the call.
“It was a good feeling. For me it was a good opportunity, and I was getting a positive feeling. I wanted to take this chance, and I came here.”
And just had Klopp had hoped for, Minamino has found an extra boost of confidence down to the fact that he is playing more regularly.
“For a football player, playing is the most important thing,” he added.
“Playing more is helping me to get more confidence back as a player. I want to play more; the more I am helping the team and contributing to wins, the more my confidence will grow.”
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