Liverpool attacker Minamino reveals surprise over Southampton loan: Yoshida convinced me

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Takumi Minamino admits he was surprised Liverpool loaned him to Southampton.

The Japan international failed to make a big impact at Anfield after arriving from RB Salzburg in January 2020.

And Minamino has revealed how compatriot and former Saints defender Maya Yoshida played a role in his loan move in the last transfer window.

"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.

"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."

And the 26-year-old added that it was more playing time which motivated him to leave Merseyside.

"For a football player, playing is the most important thing," he said.

"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."