Southampton Facing Competition To Sign Minamino From Liverpool
Wednesday, 17th Feb 2021 09:13
It seems that Takumi Minamino's agent has been working overtime this week with the media full of stories about who is the latest club on the continent to rival Saints for his signature in the summer.
When Takumi Minamino joined Saints on loan on the final day of the January transfer window there was no option to buy, it was seemingly a case of Liverpool having too many options in the attacking positions.
Like every other club Liverpool are having to trim their squads to trim their budget, as was shown by Minamino being allowed to go out on loan and the fact that with central defensive problems they signed a player from Preston who was about to go to Celtic in the Scottish Premier League for £1.5 million.
This was not buying a youngster with potential, it was a club who in normal times would have been looking at the Premier League or a top foreign league having to cut their cloth due to the reduction in income.
But Liverpool didn't appear to want to let Minamino go permanently and Jurgen Klopp said this about him when he left for St Mary's:
"When Southampton came up, there were not a lot of clubs where I thought it made sense to let him go, but Southampton made a lot of sense.
"He is there for 17 games now I think and with the situation Southampton are in, if Takumi stays fit then he has a good chance to play 17 games.
"That then helps everybody, it helps Southampton and it helps us.
"The only thing Takumi was lacking was a couple of games in a row.
"That was difficult here, I’d have loved to keep him just to have the options but in the end, because Takumi is a long term project and always was - we see a lot of potential in him, it makes a lot of sense that he gets a chance to play maybe 17 Premier League games and comes back in a completely different mindset, confidence level and all these kind of things.
"I hope it’s a win-win situation."
So it seems that Jurgen Klopp rates the Japanese attacking midfielder, although I did find t strange he should talk about potential for a player who had just turned 26 and had played over 200 games both in his native Japan and for Red Bull Salzburg.
But now suddenly and without warning the media is full of stories about Saints facing competition from the continent as they strive to sign Minamino permanently in the summer.
"Liverpool loanee facing transfer tug-of-war with Sevilla and Southampton interested" is one headline,
"Club director will do ‘everything possible’ to snatch Southampton signing" is another, with the Daily Star proclaiming : "Liverpool flop Takumi Minamino may be given La Liga move after Southampton start"
Suddenly Minamino is being talked up for a transfer after only 2 games for Saints, the second of which he lasted only an hour in a below par display, although in fairness he wasn't alone in that respect in the team.
The stories then go on to claim that the main club after his signature are Sevilla in Spain, but there are others.
So where are all these rumours coming from? The answer can only be that his agent is trying to drum up interest for the summer.
The reports suggest that Liverpool may be willing to let him go for around £10 million, a small profit on the £7.25 million they paid in January 2020 when they activated his release clause.
From a Saints perspective it is too early to say whether he is worth a punt in the summer, his performances have suggested that he has the ability and he certainly scored a decent goal up at Newcastle, if he plays well and is available then Saints will have some thinking to do, Theo Walcott has been touted for a permanent free transfer move in the summer and we are not short in the attacking department either out wide or up front.
I would suggest that in this financial climate we would not go for both Walcott & Minamino due to the cost of wages, unless we have offloaded one of the current options.
But with almost four months to go until the transfer window opens and the first week of July before any real deals get done with players wanting to collect their loyalty bonus's before they leave a club, all of this talk is very premature, there is a lot of football to be played before Liverpool, Saints & even Sevilla who have probably just found out they are interested this morning, make any decisions on the player.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #35 by wessex_exile
As many were predicting, time finally ran out for Steve Ball mid-week, after the U’s lost 2-1 at home to Exeter City. Although a considerable improvement in score-line compared to the 6-1 thrashing they handed out at St James Park earlier in the season, apart from the first 10-15 minutes and very brief glimpses throughout the remainder of the game, it was a poor performance, leaving Robbie Cowling with no choice. After a brief interlude, Robbie named Wayne Brown as our new Interim Head Coach (that’s caretaker as far as I’m concerned), and after an even briefer interlude, Robbie and Wayne in a joint statement put to rest any lingering concerns about Wayne’s attitude to race. If Wayne can show the same sort of leadership on the training ground and in the dressing room as he used to show for the U’s on the pitch, I am certain he’s going to do very well in the job.
Letters from Wiltshire #34 by wessex_exile
I won’t dwell on Robbie’s latest message to the supporters – we’ve all read it, and we’ve all probably drawn our own conclusions about what it doesn’t say as much as what it does. To me, bottom line, I suspect the clock is now ticking for Steve Ball (at least), turn around this terrible form pretty damn quick, or start clearing out your locker. Regardless of personal opinions on any of the individuals concerned, I would like to think none of us actually wants to see people made redundant in the current climate. But, these are difficult times that require tough decisions. If Steve Ball is up to the job and can turn this around, I’ll be more than happy to support him. If he’s not, he has to go before irreparable harm is done…and we all know what that will look like, we’ve been there before…
Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
Fifty years ago yesterday, Colchester United of the 4th Division pulled off the greatest cup giant-killing ever, beating 1st Division Leeds United 3-2 at Layer Road. Watched by 16,000, and the Match of the Day cameras, Dick Graham’s U’s, a rag-tag band of mostly aging journeymen, defied the odds to defeat arguably the greatest club side in Europe at the time. “The greatest cup giant-killing ever” is a bold claim, and over the years various football magazines and websites have run their own polls of which was the greatest. Whilst that day at Layer Rd always features, as the years have gone by other feats fresher in the memory have been put forward as a candidate – we probably all remember Ronnie Radford’s screamer against Newcastle, Sutton’s exploits, or even Bradford City quite recently at Stamford Bridge – but these pale into insignificance when you pause to reflect on the Don Revie side that we beat that day. Sprake, Cooper, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Giles etc – all full internationals, all household names – the only one missing was Billy Bremner, and that was because he was injured. By comparison, all we had to offer was Ray Crawford – at his peak arguably on a par with some in the Leeds side, but that peak had been ten years earlier playing for Ipswich and England. Eleven heroes didn’t just try and hold out against Leeds United, they took the game to their illustrious opponents with such tenacity, grit and no small amount of flair, and before we knew it, the U’s were 3-0 in the lead. As legs tired, Leeds got back into the game with goals from Hunter and Giles, but we held firm – typified at the death by Graham Smith pulling off an impossible save to ensure the U’s achieved the greatest cup giant-killing ever!
Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
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