Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has explained Taki Minamino lost confidence at Liverpool because he was simply not given a chance in the first-team.
In all honesty, it’s probably true – although you similarly cannot really blame Jurgen Klopp for not playing the Japanese when we had a Premier League title to win and proven world-class players ahead of him in the pecking order.
Minamino has done quite well for Southampton, while not setting the world alight, and it’s probable that he’ll return to Anfield in the summer for another crack at it – hopefully with more chances for minutes with the expected sales of Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri.
“It is never nice for a player if you don’t have the game time you want to have,” Hasenhüttl told the Southern Daily Echo.
“It’s always hard only to train and not see the perspective to be part of the squad, or the first XI. This definitely then helps your mentality when you get a lift and a chance to play.
“This is what I always say when players like to join big clubs, because they get a lot of money there and they get a lot of praise for being a part of one of the top six or whatever.
“But it is only for a short moment when you are happy about it because in the end when you are not playing enough times and when you are not really important for the club, then it feels very awful very quickly.”
Minamino was a player we were actually very excited about – and it’s crazy to think now that he’s the one we plumped for when he was starring alongside Erling Haaland for Red Bull Salzburg!
The Norwegian left Austria in the same transfer window for Borussia Dortmund, and has scored 50-odd goals since – while Minamino has been loaned out to Southampton.