LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 21, 2021: Liverpool's Takumi Minamino during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. Burnley won 1-0 ending Liverpool’s run of 68 games unbeaten at home. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Takumi Minamino concedes to uncertain Liverpool future but eyes pre-season “best”

Takumi Minamino is eager to make an impression at Liverpool when pre-season gets underway next month after a turbulent year both at and away from Anfield.

The 26-year-old has found it tough going since landing on Merseyside in January 2020, with a pandemic ensuring the settling in period was anything but smooth.

And having been unable to break into Liverpool’s team, a half-season loan at Southampton was deemed the right course of action – where he featured 10 times and scored twice.

Minamino has since attracted interest from Premier League clubs, including Southampton, and in the Bundesliga with his future at Anfield anything but certain.

But he now has the platform to catch Jurgen Klopp‘s eye after a timely summer break which is not to be disrupted by the Olympics after being left out of Japan’s squad.

And he is now eager to do his “best” when he returns to Kirkby for the start of pre-season on July 12 despite the uncertainty of what comes next.

“I don’t know what will happen, but for now, for the preseason, I’d like to go back to Liverpool and do my best there,” Minamino told Atsuto Uchida.

“It was a season in which various situations changes, so it was difficult but it was a fulfilling season,” he added when reflecting on the year gone by.

“I’ve always come abroad to play at a high level and I feel that I’m growing every day there.”

With tournament players returning to training later in the summer, there is an opportunity there for Minamino to prove himself and claim a spot moving forward.

Another loan move would be unlikely but he will be given every chance to impress as Klopp has long described Minamino as a “long-term project.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 20, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp prepares to bring on substitute Takumi Minamino during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

“Takumi is a long-term project, always was. We see a lot of potential in Takumi,” Klopp said back in February when explaining his loan switch to the south coast.

“He’s an outstanding professional, a top talent and a really, really good player so it’s all good.”

To date, Minamino has 31 Liverpool appearances to his name and four goals.