By joining Southampton on loan for the rest of the season, Takumi Minamino has completed a temporary move away from Liverpool.

All the discussion around Anfield on deadline day revolved around potential defensive arrivals.

After confirmation that Joel Matip will not play again this season – with the Cameroon center-back joining Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk on the long-term absentee list – the need for defensive recruits was increased.

By signing Ben Davies from Preston on a permanent deal and bringing in Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke with the option of a permanent move in the summer, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp secured his defensive goals.

News filtered out on Monday evening, however, of an approach to Minamino from Southampton.

Without the announcement of a deal, the 11 pm UK deadline came and went, but it was reported that Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl had lent the Japanese forward on loan until the end of the season.

“Hasenhüttl said: “I am very pleased to welcome Takumi for the remainder of this season to our squad.

He’s going to help provide another good attacking choice, and the right player profile for us is crucial.

“This will give us some extra depth at an important time in our squad, and I look forward to starting to work on the training pitch with him.”

The transfer would allow Minamino to push for regular St Mary’s playtime, something that has eluded him at Anfield since joining Red Bull Salzburg’s Liverpool in January of last year.

Given Liverpool’s assault during their title-winning campaign was sensational last year, minutes were understandably difficult to come by after joining midway through the season.

In August, he scored against Arsenal in the Group Shield, but it took until December 19 to net his first goal in the Premier League – in Crystal Palace’s 7-0 rout.

Minamino expressed satisfaction at breaking his duck in the Premier League following the game.

What I wanted to achieve was a goal in the Premier League,” he said. “I think it took longer than I wished, rather than feeling pleased about it. But I’m glad I was able to contribute to the team’s victory.

I would not say I was disappointed with myself [because I had not previously scored in the Premier League], but I still wanted to score as soon as possible. I was feeling some pressure about it, too.

“I’m glad I finally scored, but I scored only once, so I’m going to work hard to score more.”


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