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Minamino Deal A Real Coup For Southampton
Tuesday, 2nd Feb 2021 09:49

Saints will feel that they have done a good nights work in signing Takumi Minamino on loan from Liverpool for the rest of the season, a deal that Sky Sports trumpeted as both the surprise and best deal of the final day of the January transfer window.

Liverpool feel that Takumi Minamino is still a big part of their transfer plans and although Saints persuaded them that game time at St Mary's would be a good thing in the short term, the Anfield club turned down Saints request for an option to buy clause to be inserted into the deal.

That means that it is highly likely he will return to Merseyside when the deal ends in May, but these days loan deals are not just about getting players out of favour at their parent club, but in doing deals that offer solutions to all parties.

Liverpool are top heavy with attacking players and low on defenders, as are Saints for that matter, but this was a deal that suited them and those Saints fans who decry the club for not spending big money on transfers and cite that as a lack of ambition should note that this window saw very few permanent deals of note.

The move went down to the wire with Saints having to submit a deal sheet to give them an extra two hours to complete the loan move and they announced that Minamino was now a Saint albeit temporarily virtually on that 1pm deadline.

The Japanese International is comfortable either out wide or in the centre of midfield and has also been employed by Liverpool as an out and out striker.

But his game time has been limited in the Premier League this season, although he has at least been on the bench in all but one of Liverpool's 21 Premier League fixtures so far, he has only started twice with another 9 games as a substitute, playing a total of 285 minutes and scoring once.

Up to the start of December he had been involved in most games, but with Liverpool's problems he struggled to get off the bench getting only 1 sub appearance in the Red's last 6 games including their defeat at St Mary's where he sat only yards from his new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl for the entire game.

He has been a regular in the Champions League and League cup and sadly for us also played in the FA Cup 3rd round win at Aston Villa so he will not be available for us in that competition.

Minamino is at having just turned 26 an experienced player having played 199 games for Red Bull Salzburg in all competitions as well as another 85 for Cerezo Osaka in Japan.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl said: “I am very pleased to welcome Takumi to our squad for the rest of this season.

“He will help provide another good attacking option, and is importantly the right profile of player for us.

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

So we have experience but we also have hunger to get his career in England back on track.

Photo: Action Images

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LordDZLucan added 10:17 - Feb 2
Sorry I don't agree with your analysis. We may be top heavy with attacking players but not with strikers. We're now down to 2, Danny and Che, and if one of those gets injured we're in the deep doo doo. Minamino has played in an excellent Liverpool side and has been anonymous which is not a good recommendation. He looks to me like another Nathan Redmond/Moussa Djenepo type player so is giving us more of what we already have and not something different. And another thing. Why did we give Shane Long a 2 year contract in the summer only to loan him out at the first opportunity? Very strange.

IanRC added 10:18 - Feb 2
If he gives us another option for Walcott it can only be a good thing. Not sure what we are going to do about full backs if there are more injuries.

SaintPaulVW added 10:44 - Feb 2
We had no money to spend.

The players we really wanted weren't available.

I hope Minamino does really well for us.

Block8 added 11:04 - Feb 2
Tend to agree with Lucian here. The last position that we require is another winger, although he could be a Long replacement?
We are told we have excellent young strikers coming through, so maybe they don't rate them as highly as we're told.
What we don't have is FB cover and totally waste JWP talents (and weaken midfield) playing him there. Djenepo is never going to make a RB and there is no LB cover at all?
I suppose my real gripe is, if Ralph intended to send both his reserve FB's out on loan why on why did we leave it so very late to find replacements?

surreysaint added 11:18 - Feb 2
Block8 Completely agree with the fullbacks thing. I am loathe to criticise our manager, but to leave ourselves with 1 specialist first teamer in any single position is nuts - and we have *chosen* to do it with *both* full back positions. And when you think of how important FBs are in our style of football it makes even less sense.

TimSaint added 12:57 - Feb 2
Willing to give him a chance. Perhaps he can show the rest the attackers where the goal is, because although we are struggling in defence, we are also struggling to score - and because we don't score, we don't win games and then the defence gets scrutinised and lambasted for any errors.
We have a league low 2 goals this calendar year, so the issues we have are not just at the back.


Colburn added 13:08 - Feb 2
Is he another winger? I thought he was a decent box player too. The only game Liverpool have been comfortable recently was away at Palace. Why? Because they got an early goal, a great finish from Minamino.. We need one more clean sheet to match last seasons tally, defence has not been the problem of late but scoring goals. Minamino is a different type of forward to what we have and an improvement on Long in my view, so it is good business and possibly the only good move available to us this window. If we should have brought in a right back who would just be cover for KWP then who is this right back please?
Onwards and upwards, let's see how the new lad does before we condemn the signing..

NewburySaint added 13:55 - Feb 2
Absolutely, & certainly an upgrade on our current wide players we have.

derbydog added 14:03 - Feb 2
We gave Shane Long a contract because he deserved it. Probably a good influence on younger players and presence in the dressing room too. In both those senses we will miss him.

underweststand added 16:26 - Feb 2
...suggest everyone hereafter re-reads SaintPaul VW (above)

All the correct facts ....in very short sentences.

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