"But since we saw him and since our situation got clearer and clearer ---- the problems we had -- when we saw him we got really excited about it and thought, 'Wow.' We see the quality and we see the potential".
"It helps Southampton, it helps us because the only thing Takumi was lacking was a couple of games in a row and that was hard here". The champions are missing all of their senior central defenders, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip out of action.
Liverpool signed Ben Davies from second-tier English club Preston and Ozan Kabak from German team Schalke on Monday, the final day of the winter transfer window. These kind of things make the difference why one player plays and another does not.
Southampton coach Ralph Hasenhuettl said the 26-year-old, who has played 26 times for Japan, would offer a good attacking option in the second half of the campaign.
While Kazak has not received worldwide clearance, Davies could potentially make the squad for the home match against Brighton on Wednesday.
The move for the 26-year-old, who signed for Liverpool from RB Salzburg in a £7.25m deal in December 2019 and made his debut the following month, comes after the Saints failed in an attempt to sign Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Liverpool full-back Neco Williams. "That is 100% my fault as well", he said.
"(Going to) Southampton makes a lot of sense.
"Takumi was always a long-term project and he still is". If Takumi stays fit, he has a good chance of playing 17 games which helps everybody.