Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino has admitted he is unsure what the future holds for him as he gets set to return to Merseyside for pre-season.
The Japan international has struggled to break into the Liverpool team since joining the Reds in January 2020. He was sent out on-loan to Southampton for the second half of the 2020/21 season. Despite scoring twice in his first three appearances for the Saints, he failed to make much of an impression on the south-coast.
The loan move also failed to achieve Jurgen Klopp’s goal of giving the 26-year-old regular first-team Premier League football.
He made just nine starts for a Southampton side that were in need of attacking impetus. On five occasions he was an unused substitute.
Klopp insisted that Minamino was a long-term project when he made the switch south. But following the lacklustre spell away there are now doubts surrounding his future.
It was reported earlier this month that his parent club were set to backtrack on their initial stance and consider selling him this summer.
This prompted Southampton to enquire about bringing Minamino in once more at St Mary’s. Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl revealed the response they received from the discussions was one of uncertainty.
And now Minamino himself has spoken out and said he is none the wiser on what the next season of his career will look like.
In an interview with former Japan international Atsuto Uchida, he said: “I don’t know what will happen. For now, for the pre-season, I’d like to go back to Liverpool and do my best there.
“It was a season in which various situations changes, so it was difficult but it was a fulfilling season.
“I’ve always come abroad to play at a high level and I feel that I’m growing every day there.”
Minamino’s teammate signs new deal
Meanwhile, another fringe Liverpool player, Caoimhin Kelleher, is targeting more game time after signing a new long-term contract with the club.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper has committed his future to the Reds after making five first-team appearances in a breakthrough season on Merseyside.
Kelleher stood out as he featured in both the Premier League and the Champions League for Jurgen Klopp’s injury-hit squad.