Loan moves for young players are usually designed to help them with their development, but once someone gets well into their 20s then it’s usually a different situation.
It tends to be the case that those loanees are out of favour and they need to put themselves into the shop window for a future transfer – something that’s expected with Takumi Minamino during his loan spell with Southampton.
He became a forgotten man at Liverpool as he was slowly edged out of the first team picture, while the emergence of players like Diogo Jota and Harvey Elliott during his loan spell with Blackburn will force him further down the pecking order.
He’s done well for Southampton but probably not enough to make everyone sit up and take notice, but a report from Goal has indicated he might still have a surprising role to play next season.
Admittedly it could just be Jurgen Klopp trying to keep his value high, but they reported these quotes from Klopp which appeared in Liverpool’s matchday programme for their game against Southampton tonight:
“He’s done really well there and this is no surprise. When we allowed him to go in January it was a tough call to make because he is an important player for us and will be again in the future, no doubt.
“But opportunities at that time had been short with us and therefore going to play somewhere else made sense for him and us. Southampton was perfect because of how Ralph plays and what he demands from his players.”
Minamino has always been a fairly popular player with the Liverpool fans and he’s also a very good player, but time will tell if he has enough to force his way back into Klopp’s plans next year.