Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says that Liverpool are “absolutely not unhappy” with how Takumi Minamino is progressing on his loan spell.
The Japan international arrived at Anfield in January 2020 as an interesting signing. While he had impressed in the Champions League against Liverpool, he was largely an unknown quantity. But amid sporadic game time, he struggled in his first year find a regular role in Jurgen Klopp’s set-up.
As such, he left on loan to Southampton in January. He made an instant impression, netting on his debut in a 3-2 loss to Newcastle.
Since then, Minamino has made five further appearances, playing 323 minutes and scoring another goal.
Reds boss Klopp has insisted that he has a long-term plan for Minamino at Liverpool. Therefore, officials from the club have kept in regular contact with the Saints over his progress.
Hasenhuttl has indeed revealed that he has held fresh talks with Liverpool, who have been left satisfied.
“We had communications this week, somebody here in our club to take a look at him, we discussed his position, discussed his development, and they were absolutely not unhappy,” the manager told reporters (via the Liverpool Echo).
“He has got a lot of time to play so far.
He’s not had so much in the last two games, but I’m sure in the last six games he will also get chances to play.
“He is training well, he is a good part of the team, he is a professional player, good mentality, good character.
“I’m sure that he will get a lot more minutes to play until the end of the season and then we will look at what we do.”
Minamino has Liverpool struggles
Minamino, who has 13 goals in 28 games for Japan, made his Liverpool debut in the FA Cup last January.
He made 10 Premier League appearances last season, but only amounted to 242 minutes.
He has largely struggled to fit in behind Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota.
However, Klopp has faced criticism for not giving him more of a chance; the regular front three have suffered a slump, while Jota has had an injury.