Liverpool midfielder Takumi Minamino has dropped a big hint over his long-term future, after admitting how much he is enjoying life on loan at Southampton.
The 28-year-old has already played far more minutes for Saints over the past two months (413) than he did during the first five months of the campaign with Jurgen Klopp’s men (289). Given that, it’s no great surprise that the Japan star is relishing more game time on the south coast.
Speaking in an interview with Southampton’s official website, Minamino admitted he has rediscovered his confidence.
““I feel a real positive energy from the team. I feel a good connection to the rest of the players and the manager, so I am really enjoying it here,” he said.
“For a football player, playing is the most important thing. Playing more is helping me to get more confidence back as a player. I want to play more; the more I am helping the team and contributing to wins, the more my confidence will grow.
“Playing in the Premier League has been a dream for me since I was a child. I am really enjoying getting the chance to play in the Premier League.”
Despite impressing with Southampton, the playmaker knows he only has a limited time with the club before he tries to crack Liverpool’s first team again next term.
He continued: “I only have a few months left to help the team. But I want to work hard and use my full abilities to make sure the team do well and climb up the league as much as possible.
“I just want to help the team by scoring and assisting as much as possible. I am an attacking player so it is my responsibility to score and assist to help the team. That is where I am focused.”
Minamino’s comments appear to suggest that he feels he still has a future at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp, however, will have the final say on that, as he freshens up his squad over the summer.
Liverpool tipped to land perfect Wijnaldum replacement
Georginio Wijnaldum’s time at Liverpool appears to be coming to an end, but there might already be a ready-made replacement available this summer.
Wijnaldum, 30, will fall out of contract at the end of the current season. He has shown no signs of extending his stay and has reportedly verbally agreed to join Barcelona. The lack of a transfer fee is said to have encouraged the Catalans to opt for the Netherlands international. The Spanish giants are known to be struggling financially and an experienced player with no fee certainly appeals.
After signing for the Anfield outfit in the summer of 2016, Wijnaldum has become a vital part of Jurgen Klopp’s side. He has made 228 appearances in all competitions, scoring 22 goals.
But it is the former PSV man’s ability to sit in midfield and release the forwards that makes him special. He seems able to find the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino with ease, while protecting the defence.
Klopp will certainly miss him but another Dutchman could be the answer. The player in question is 18-year-old Ajax sensation Ryan Gravenberch.
He may be wet behind the ears, but the Amsterdam-born starlet has already made 51 senior appearances for the Eredivisie giants. He has also been capped three times by Oranje and looks to have the footballing world at his feet.
Gravenberch has started 25 of Ajax’s 27 league games this term and helped them to top spot in the standings.
There is no report linking Liverpool with the midfielder but they might sit up and take note of his value. A report from Sport Witness suggests the younger brother of Sparta Rotterdam’s Danzell Gravenberch could be available for just €35m.