2 minute read
25/5/2021 | 09:10am
Ralph Hasenhuttl hinted recently that Southampton could look to sign Takumi Minamino from Liverpool again next season, which would be a huge error by the Austrian manager.
The Japan international joined Southampton on loan on transfer deadline day and went to make 10 appearances for the Saints.
Do you want Minamino back next season?
Speaking in his press conference ahead of Southampton’s final game of the season against West Ham, which they would lose 3-0 with Minamino missing a great early chance to give the Saints the lead, the former RB Leipzig boss said: “I must say. He was a very lively factor in our game, in the games he played.
“He not only scored fantastic goals but his mentality and his character really fit into our team. You can see why a club like Liverpool wanted to sign him.
“He did a good job here. We gave him a chance to show up. We will have a look what happens in the summer, we will see what Liverpool want to do.
“There are discussions going on but we will have a look in the summer.”
There would be plenty of Southampton fans who might disagree with Hasenhuttl’s praise for Minamino as, whilst he had a bright start with a goal on his debut against Newcastle United, he managed just one more goal and no assists in his next nine appearances.
His average rating of 6.42 from WhoScored ranks him as the 15th-best performer for Southampton across the Premier League season, which doesn’t exactly justify bringing him back from Liverpool again next term.
Whilst Hasenhuttl doesn’t make it clear whether it would be a loan deal or a permanent one, either option would arguably be a letdown for Southampton fans.
A loan deal would almost guarantee the 26-year-old game-time, which could stunt the development of fellow left-sided players such as Nathan Tella and Will Ferry. A permanent deal would take away funds from other potential transfer targets, and Southampton should definitely be looking to improve their defence before looking at attacking players – only relegated West Brom conceded more Premier League goals than the Saints in 2020/21.
The £10.8m-rated “machine” has done very little to win over Southampton fans during his spell at the club, so it would be a huge mistake by Hasenhuttl to bring him back again next season, and he should be looking to strengthen the squad elsewhere.
In other news… Semmens can repeat Saints’ Armstrong masterclass with swoop for “top player”