It’s been a while since Liverpool and the word transfer mistakes are discussed in the same sentence.
A number of world-class players have arrived at Anfield to take Jurgen Klopp to the top of domestic, European and world football over the last three years.
However, things with this term were very different – especially at home – and the respected Reds transfer committee and manager seem to have made two obvious mistakes.
Recently, the case of Takumi Minamino.
When the Japanese international arrived in Liverpool in January 2020, there was heavy bedding, but he showed flashes of quality Reds fans to witness when his former RB Salzburg team lost 4-3 at Anfield three months earlier.
Then, in December last year, the striker was awarded the second start of the season in the Premier League, opened the scoring and played 90 minutes of Liverpool’s 7-0 win over Crystal Palace.
It seemed like a starting point for Minamino, especially with Diogo Jota who had suffered an injury just 10 days before.
However, Klopp clearly thought otherwise – allowing the 26-year-old just six more minutes of Premier League during the next seven matches of which the defending champions lost two and drew three.
Southampton then came up with a last minute offer to transfer Minamin to the final day, taking him on loan until the end of the season after the Reds agreed that it would be beneficial for all parties, especially the player.
On the one hand, it made complete sense because Klopp was not calling Minamin into action and therefore allowing him to gain valuable Premier League experience elsewhere would be great in the long run.
The German boss admitted that they did not “give Minamin enough chances” in Liverpool and that he would like the player to keep “having a chance”, but he hoped that he would return to Anfield even better.
Minamino has played three games for the Saints so far and scored twice, including a wonderfully calm goal against Chelsea in a 1-1 draw this weekend.
After the game manager Ralph Hasenhuttl praised Minamino’s skills with the ball in his feet, but explained that the ball needed to be improved.
This proved Klopp’s thinking about Minamin and in a way explains why he didn’t play for the Reds, as the German boss failed again and again because of his proven triumvirate as he tried to reverse the results.
As we know, Liverpool have won just two of their last 11 matches in the first flight, while slipping to sixth place in the table.
You thought Minamino could have offered the team something different from the norm, and given how it went in Liverpool anyway, it doesn’t seem like experimenting with different ideas would do much harm – and maybe even succeed, at least to get a sense of competition for those in the front line.
Sure, this is a backward advantage, but if Liverpool were more selfish and told Minamin he had to stay in case he was needed – especially with Klopp who admitted he would “like” to keep the player – then it would be a school of thought it wouldn’t even exist.
Receive all the latest news from Liverpool, team news, transfer rumors, injury updates, as well as an analysis of the next for the Reds.
You will also receive the latest transmission and analysis conversations directly to your inbox on a daily basis with our FREE email newsletter.
Sign up here – it only takes a few seconds!
Minamino was obviously ready to play in the Premier League and score goals given his current impact on the South Coast even against top teams, but his lack of playing time can almost certainly return to defensive injuries at Anfield given Klopp’s clear the desire to protect the back line of each player as much as possible did the ball.
The fact that Minamino already plays regularly in St. Louis. Mary will only help him develop and benefit Liverpool next season – but things need to deal with that term very quickly if the Reds compete in the Champions League even next term because they sit sixth in the table and nine points behind third. a place for Leicester and five behind West Ham in fourth place.
No matter how much Minamino has improved, if Liverpool don’t play in Europe, there will be a few serious issues for the other players in their squad before the next campaign even starts.
Sure, it’s the worst case scenario, but not entirely outside the realm of possibility and I dare say – a bit of short-term thinking and player loyalty comes back to bite the Reds.
It’s extreme, but it’s also not the first time that player loyalty has had a big impact on Liverpool this season.
Before the 2020/21 campaign even started, Dejan Lovren wanted to leave the club and the Reds committed after an offer of 11 million pounds submitted by Zenit from St. Petersburg.
No one could have predicted the injuries Liverpool would sustain as central defender at this time and the deal was good. However, when Lovren left the Reds, he had only three recognized senior options in the heart of the defense, but calls to replace the Croatian national team player to strengthen the ranks met with deaf ears.
Liverpool rightly quoted in time that Fabinho would fill in if necessary and he did so most of the season with aplomb until he himself was injured.
There were moments when Fabinho looked like the 6th player to play in the middle of the half, but overall it proved that Klopp was right in terms of his ability backwards.
However, there is no doubt that Lovren would have been a better option – even just to keep Fabinha in the midfield – and again it seems that another player the club could have simply kept at Anfield just in case an option was needed, which is showed the case.
Klopp, however, is fiercely loyal to his players, and that’s what makes him such a great coach who has the locker room harmony a major factor in Liverpool’s success over the past few seasons.
Keeping players who don’t want to be at the club wouldn’t help things on the field, but it may have helped on the field this term – and thus keep the peace next season and with a safer base from which to finish in the top four.