Hasenhuttl raves over underused Liverpool star after sealing Southampton loan

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl hopes that Liverpool loanee Takumi Minamino will prove a crucial asset until the end of the season.

The Saints secured a temporary deal for the Japan international after springing a late deadline-day move.

Liverpool sanctioned the move after Minamino had become lost at the fringes of Liverpool’s attack.

Indeed, despite the Reds’ usual front three not firing in recent weeks, he only played seven minutes of Premier League action since scoring in the 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace.

Hasenhuttl told Southampton’s official website: “I am very pleased to welcome Takumi to our squad for the rest of this season.

“He will help provide another good attacking option, and is importantly the right profile of player for us.

“This will give us some additional depth in our squad at an important time, and I am looking forward to beginning work with him on the training pitch.

Minamino moved to Anfield from RB Salzburg in January 2020. He scored four goals in 31 appearances and won the league in his first season.

Hasenhuttl will be hoping the 26-year-old helps resolve Southampton’s misfiring form in front of goal.

The Saints head to Manchester United on Tuesday after drawing blanks in five of their last seven top-flight matches.

But the manager said on Monday he did not feel worried, adding.

He said: “I see us creating a lot of chances and it is only a question of time before we score again so it doesn’t worry me at the moment.”

Southampton moved to the summit of the league in November. However, they travel to United bidding to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat having slipped to 11th.

Minamino joined by more Saints business

Minamino becomes the second Japan international to represent Saints, after Maya Yoshida.

What’s more, he will replace Shane Long at St Mary’s after the Irishman’s move to Bournemouth.

Long’s move came through two hours after the deadline and paved the way for Josh King’s exit from the Cherries to Everton.

READ MORE: Deadline day as it happened

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