Takumi Minamino’s last minute loan to Southampton was by far the biggest surprise of January transfer window for Liverpool. While a loan to Minamino to see an increase in playing time made sense, there wasn’t much discussion of a loan deal before it was announced that he would spend the rest of the season with the Saints for two hours. after closing the window.
As it turns out, Minamino was just as surprised as everyone by how quickly the deal came to fruition. Liverpool lender gave insight into the late move in a interview with the official Southampton website today.
“It was the last day [of the transfer window], after training – around five o’clock, I think. Some guys called me, and it just happened, ”Minamino said.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” he admitted, “So I was probably the most surprised of them all when I got the call. It was a good feeling. For me it was a good opportunity and I had a positive feeling. I wanted to take this chance and I came here.
According to the Japanese forward, it was a conversation with compatriot and former Southampton defender Maya Yoshida that convinced him to take the loan.
“Before the deal was finalized around midnight, I had about 30 minutes to chat with Maya. I asked him about the team, the manager and the players. He told me everything, he explained to me some positive points about this team. I have talked a lot with Maya.
The change of scenery appears to have breathed new life into the 26-year-old who struggled to secure meaningful playing time at Liverpool before loan. He quickly settled on the south coast and is enjoying his football again.
“I feel a real positive energy from the team. I feel a good connection with the rest of the players and the manager, so I’m really having fun here. Everyone in the team was really good and helped me. As players and as people they were all amazing, ”he says.
While the atmosphere and camaraderie is great, the biggest and most significant change for Minamino has been seeing regular minutes after his struggles to break into the Liverpool squad.
“For a football player, playing is the most important thing. Playing more helps me regain my confidence as a player. I want to play more; the more I help the team and contribute to the victories, the more my confidence will grow.
It’s really fantastic to hear that Minamino is enjoying his football at Southampton after a pretty tough time since moving to Liverpool last January. While he clearly hopes to use that loan to regain his form and gain a bigger role upon his return to Merseyside, he is fully committed to helping the Saints rise through the ranks on the home stretch of the 2020 campaign- 21.
“I only have a few months left to help the team, but I want to work hard and use all my abilities to make sure the team is performing well and moving up in the league as much as possible.”
“I just want to help the team by scoring and helping as much as possible. I’m an attacking player so it’s my responsibility to score and help to help the team. This is where I focus. “