Minamino explains 'surprise' move to Southampton


Takumi Minamino has explained how former Southampton player Maya Yoshida helped to guide his loan switch from Anfield on deadline day

The Japan international  admitted he was not expecting to leave the Reds and did not know about Ralph Hasenhuttl's interest until the final moments.

He called compatriot and Japan captain Yoshida, who played for the Saints for more than seven years, to help point him in the right direction.

"It was the last day [of the transfer window], after training – around five o’clock, I think. Some guys called me, and it just happened,” Minamino said of the deal , which was officially confirmed two hours after the deadline.

"I didn't expect it at all, so I was probably the most surprised of anyone when I got the call.

"It was a good feeling. For me it was a good opportunity, and I was getting a positive feeling. I wanted to take this chance, and I came here.

"Before the deal was finalised around midnight, I had around 30 minutes to chat to Maya. I asked him about the team, the manager and the players.

"He told me everything, he explained some positives about this team. I spoke with Maya a lot."

Minamino explained why he left Anfield and said he is really enjoying his time down at St Mary's stadium, with the manager communicating to him in German as he learns more English.

"For a football player, playing is the most important thing," he told the official club website of his desire to start more often.

"Playing more is helping me to get more confidence back as a player. I want to play more; the more I am helping the team and contributing to wins, the more my confidence will grow.

"Playing in the Premier League has been a dream for me since I was a child. I am really enjoying getting the chance to play in the Premier League.

"I only have a few months left to help the team but I want to work hard and use my full abilities to make sure the team do well and climb up the league as much as possible.

"I just want to help the team by scoring and assisting as much as possible. I am an attacking player so it is my responsibility to score and assist to help the team. That is where I am focused."

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