Jurgen Klopp has lifted the lid on why he allowed playmaker Takumi Minamino to join Southampton for the rest of the season on loan.
Despite Liverpool FC struggling with injuries throughout the current campaign, the Japan international completed a move to Southampton on loan for the remainder of the 2020-21 Premier League season.
Since his move in January 2019 to the defending Premier League champions from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg, Minamino has been limited to 31 appearances in all competitions.
Despite the Japanese playmaker showing signs of promise when given a chance to star in the Reds team, Klopp has used the 26-year-old rarely since his move to Liverpool FC.
In all competitions in his Reds career so far, Minamino has scored four goals, including Liverpool FC’s opening goal in a Crystal Palace 9-0 rout in December.
Liverpool FC allegedly refused to allow Southampton to insert in the loan agreement an option to purchase a clause, indicating that international Japan still has a future at Anfield.
Klopp explained why he sanctioned Minamino’s loan move in his pre-match media conference ahead of Liverpool FC’s clash against Brighton on Wednesday night.
“Yeah, of course, having options makes it the only chance that you can give a player to another club,” said Klopp.
“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 weeks 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.”
Since his move to Liverpool FC over 12 months ago, Minamino has scored one goal in 19 Premier League appearances.
The 26-year-old earned a move to Liverpool FC after he netted 64 goals in 189 games in all competitions at Salzburg during his six-season stay.