It’s too soon to throw in the towel on Takumi Minamino
Liverpool only spent about 7.25 million pounds to sign Takumi Minamino from RB Salzburg, which is known for its ability to produce top young talent, having been instilled with talent-building and scouting principles from Ralf Rangnick himself. Erling Haaland is the most successful recent example of a Salzburg superstar, but there are others like Stefan Lainer and a certain Sadio Mane who have gone on to successful careers in Europe’s top five.
Minamino could still be one of those players. Liverpool invested a modest amount of money in the Japenese international, in the hopes that he could develop into a nice role player for them, much like, say, the aforementioned Lainer has at right back for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga.
At that price, Minamino doesn’t have to be a superstar. He just has to be decent. To this point at both Liverpool and on loan at Southampton, we haven’t seen enough from Minamino. You’d think a move from Salzburg to a Jurgen Klopp or even Ralph Hasenhuttle-coached squad wouldn’t be too much of a leap, but the Premier League takes some adjusting to. Minamino hasn’t played many minutes, all told, so look beyond the months. He is still in that adjustment period.
Ask Chelsea what it feels like to miss out on a good player (thinking of Salah and Kevin de Bruyne here). Minamino most likely won’t become a superstar like those two, but there’s no need to quit on a guy who is still relatively young and not quite settled yet. You don’t want to kick yourself for missing out on a player you actually got right initially.