Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has explained the decision to loan Takumi Minamino to Southampton on deadline day.
The Saints made a late move for the Japan star on Monday night, with his loan switch being completed after the transfer window slammed shut.
While some were surprised by the loan decision, Klopp believes it is the right move as Minamino has not had much chances to play this season.
"Yeah, of course, having options makes it the only chance that you can give a player to another club. When Southampton asked, it wasn't that we said: 'no, no, no chance'. We thought about it and Takumi is an incredibly good player and we didn't give him enough chances. That's the truth," Klopp was quoted as saying by the Metro.
"That's for different reasons, sometimes it was just the size – because of our problems in defence we weren't tall enough and then Takumi on the pitch and I think, 'how can we do that?'. Defending set pieces is a very important part.
"In some moments, these kind of things make the difference why one player is playing and the other not.
"So when Southampton came up, there were not a lot of clubs where I thought it made really sense to let him go but Southampton makes a lot of sense.
"He's there for 17 days now. In the situation Southampton is, I think if Takumi stays fit he will have a good chance to play 17 games, which helps everybody. It helps Southampton, it helps us. Because the only thing Takumi was lacking was a couple of games in a row. That was difficult here.
"I would have loved to keep him just to have the options. But in the end, because Takumi is a long-term project – he always was – we see really a lot of potential in Takumi.
"It makes sense that now he maybe gets to play 17 Premier League games and comes back in a completely different mindset, confidence level, all this kind of things. I hope it's a win-win situation."
Scroll through the gallery below to see some other January 2021 deadline-day transfers: