Liverpool midfielder Takumi Minamino has signed for Southampton on loan for the rest of the season.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will welcome the Japanese international, as the latter will start training on Wednesday in preparations for the away clash at St. James' Park, Newcastle.
The 26-year-old has only made eight appearances for Liverpool this season with game time becoming a rarity under Jurgen Klopp. Minamino will be hoping to thrive under Hasenhuttl’s system and flourish in the red and white stripes.
Minamino joined Liverpool in January 2020 from Red Bull Salzburg after making a name for himself in the Austrian Bundesliga, managing a startling 64 goals and 44 assists in 199 games for RB Salzburg.
What does Minamino bring to the side?
Southampton have been crying out for a creative spark of late, with goals becoming a collector’s item in the past two months. Hasenhuttl’s side have only managed two goals in the past seven games. There has been a distinct lack of fluidity in the final third, with the likes of Danny Ings and Che Adams misfiring in front of goal. Minamino will be hoping to reignite the spark that was ever-present at the start of the season, adding that bit of quality in the final third.
The Japanese international possesses qualities Southampton have been very much craving. Minamino offers great versatility in the front-line with the latter capable of playing anywhere across the front three. In a paper-thin squad that Hasenhuttl attains, Minamino’s versatility could be integral in getting his side back on track in the second half of the season.
The 26-year-old has learnt his trade at RB Salzburg where he played his best football, all whilst playing pressing football under Marco Rose and Jesse Marsch - the latter used the 4-2-2-2 system like Hasenhuttl. Furthermore, Hasenhuttl has showcased similar principles to Klopp in the way the press is applied during his tenure.
Not only does Minamino offer quality but his work on and off the ball in open play has come on leaps and bounds. The Austrian manager’s philosophy has been clear to see this season, with the press becoming an integral factor to the success it has reaped. Hasenhuttl has extreme demands of each and every player, with Minamino seemingly capable of fulfilling the expectations the manager demands. Getting someone of the Liverpool player's ilk should be viewed as a coup.
Minamino is an industrious midfielder, looking to make a stamp within the Premier League. Under Hasenhuttl’s wings, the potential is an exciting thought to ponder on. Minamino has the opportunity to thrive under the manager’s system and become a real asset to the side. Given regular games, there’s no reason why Minamino can’t be a real hit.
Hasenhuttl expresses his delight
“I am very pleased to welcome Takumi to our squad for the rest of this season. He will help provide another good attacking option, and is importantly the right profile of player for us.”
“This [Minamino] will give us some additional depth in our squad at an important time, and I am looking forward to beginning work with him on the training pitch.”