Takumi Minamino was always a low-risk signing for Liverpool, but it is safe to say it has not yet quite worked out for the Japanese, who is currently on loan at Southampton.

Liverpool took advantage of Minamino's £7.25m release clause having been impressed by his performances under Jesse Marsch, in particular, at Red Bull Salzburg.

He netted at Anfield against Liverpool for the Austrian side in the Champions League and was clearly a gifted player.

But Minamino was not the only player who stood out in that Salzburg team, on that particular night or in the first half of the 2019/20 season as a whole.

"For Minamino, it just has not quite worked at Southampton even though it looked like a good move on paper," said David Lynch on the Blood Red podcast.

"For the player, you are a little bit concerned because he has not set the world alight and the problem at Liverpool is that he does not have the confidence to have a real crack at the first team.

"Minamino is not one you would be desperate to sell but if a decent offer came in, you would think they would consider it, which is a shame.

"He was a real stand-out when he came to Anfield in the Champions League."

"You would think that when Liverpool were scouting him they might have looked at the big lad playing up next to him," Paul Gorst added.

"There was a rumour at the time that Liverpool's players went to Klopp at the time and said 'you have to take a look at Erling Haaland '.

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"They were by all accounts, but it just seems like a missed opportunity."

Haaland has been linked with all the top sides around Europe - Liverpool included - over the past few months, with a move in the summer more than possible.

But Dortmund now reportedly value the forward, who was purchased for around £17m, at a minimum of £150m, even in a reduced Covid market.

"Erling made a perfect choice with Dortmund, and Taki made a perfect choice," Klopp said a month after Minamino had arrived at Anfield.

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Haaland had already reached double figures in terms of goals by the time those comments were made, just weeks into Minamino being a Liverpool player and the Norwegian having moved to Borussia Dortmund.

Minamino has still only scored six in total - two of those for Southampton - since his transfer to England took place.

"Taki finds here a completely different situation [to Haaland at Dortmund]," the Liverpool boss continued.

"That’s normal. We have no problems, nowhere really [for him to start] particularly in an offensive position, but we need variation at moments.

"Taki tries everything. Against the ball, he is top class, but if you ask him, although he doesn’t say it, he wants to do what we want him to do.

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"But we want him to do what he does naturally."

That, though, has not happened yet, and may well never come for the versatile attacker, with doubts over his long-term suitability at Anfield creeping in.

There has been no inkling from Liverpool that they want him to go, but that Southampton would rather sign Theo Walcott permanently come the end of the season tells its own story.

As the biggest European clubs circle around Haaland, who has already scored a total of 53 goals for Dortmund in 56 games, including 37 in 38 appearances so far this season, Liverpool will know they missed out.

There may well be a tinge of regret at having picked the wrong bargain star.