Takumi Minamino scored! Unfortunately, he did it for Southampton, where Liverpool have loaned him for the remainder of the season. The Japan international made his Southampton debut in style on Saturday when Southampton faced Newcastle United in the Premier League. He played all 90 minutes of the match and made an excellent first impression on the Southampton fans.
But though he bagged his first goal, it still wasn’t enough for them to get anything out of the game. Southampton ended up falling to Newcastle 3-2. Apparently no Liverpool player can catch a break, whether on loan or not.
After the game, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl praised Minamino’s effort, saying that he was unsurprised by the immediate impact he’s had on the team.
“Happy for him, definitely,” Hasenhuttl said of Minamino.
“I expected exactly what I saw – he is a good player in the red zone, has good movements there. It was tough in the second half because it was getting tighter and tighter, and the long balls into the box are not his game.
“But [being] in the red zone and speeding up the game is definitely his game, and that can help us.”
Minamino’s deadline day loan move was one of the more perplexing moments in the winter transfer window. With the onslaught of games facing the players, it was surprising that Klopp didn’t want to keep Minamino around for cover, especially considering he’d always done well when given the opportunity.
Hopefully this loan spell gets him consistent game time and prepares him to return to the Reds in the summer.