Many eyebrows were raised last night, two hours before the deadline, when Takumi Minamino moved from Liverpool to Southampton on a six-month loan. On paper, it looks like a win-win for all parties involved.
Klopp told reporters he didn't give Minamino a good enough run of games, before adding that a move to Southampton will give the Japanese international the game time he needs, to thrive.
The competition for wide attackers at Liverpool is fierce, with Sadio Mane and Mo Salah both mainly operating in those roles. They're backed up by Diego Jota, Xherdan Shaqiri, and even Curtis Jones, who can provide cover out on the wings as seen recently against Manchester United in the FA Cup. The stats back up Klopp’s comment; Minamino has had just six minutes of game time since playing against Crystal Palace in December.
By sending Minamino to Southampton, Klopp has ensured that not only will Minamino have more game time on offer, but also face less pressure. Southampton are sitting comfortably in mid-table and will likely finish away from any danger, meaning there is little to play for. This should allow Minamino time to enjoy being involved in regular Premier League football and gain confidence in the league that he has only been a bit part player of.
The benefit for Minamino is that both Liverpool and Southampton play a high press, meaning that he should settle into Southampton's system with relative ease. Likewise, if he develops the way that Klopp and Liverpool hope, he maintains the tactical familiarity he has built up at Liverpool.
There is definitely a good player in Minamino, which is what encouraged Liverpool to buy him from RB Salzburg in the first place. The RB Salzburg link might have helped Southampton crack the deal, what with Ralph Hassenhuttl being the ex-RB Leipzig manager. Hassenhuttl will likely know the player's strengths from his time at RB Leipzig, since Leipzig and Salzburg are sister clubs.
The deal also suits Southampton, since bringing in a player with Champions' League experience will give the squad a boost. Minamino is also a good replacement for Shane Long, who moved to Bournemouth on the same day on loan as well. By bringing Minamino in, Hassenhuttl can push Theo Walcott upfront who has been forming good partnerships with Danny Ings and Che Adams, respectively. It gives further depth to what is a tight Saints squad.