By Kevin Phillips

26th Feb, 2021 | 6:45am

This is why Minamino flopped at Liverpool but is dazzling at Southampton - Phillips

Takumi Minamino has the ability to make an impact at Liverpool next season — but Southampton might simply turn out to be a better fit for him.   

That is according to ex-Leeds and Manchester City striker Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider amid the 26-year-old’s lightning-quick start to life on the south coast.

The 26-time Japan international struggled to adapt to life in England during his first 12 months with Liverpool and started just four matches for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

But he has enjoyed a promising start at St. Mary’s, scoring twice in his first four matches for the Saints.

Phillips acknowledges that Minamino could play a “major part” for Liverpool next season but he also claims that Southampton might better suit the player’s style.

He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “He’s playing brilliantly, of course. But that happens, how many times have we seen that? Some clubs suit some players.

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“It is what it is, you know. Ultimately, it’s good for Liverpool that he’s going away and getting his game-time.

“He might well come back and play a major part at Liverpool next season. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Minamino joined Liverpool in January 2020 after they paid Red Bull Salzburg £7.25million to activate his release clause.

Minamino began his career in his native Japan with Cerezo Osaka before being noticed by Red Bull Salzburg’s well-regarded scouting network and signing in 2015.

In other news, finance expert Kieran Maguire says the proposed Champions League reform put forward by UEFA may not be as lucrative as Liverpool expect it to be.