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Jurgen Klopp Welcomes Back “Influential” Midfielder Wataru Endo

The Japanese international will likely make his return to the Liverpool side this afternoon against Burnley.

Liverpool FC v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool mostly managed to weather the storm throughout January and early February, with both Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo leaving for mid-season international tournaments with Egypt and Japan, respectively.

However, injuries and exhaustion caught up with the Reds against Arsenal last Sunday, as the squad had been pushed and stretched one game too far. Thankfully Wataru Endo is back on Merseyside, and ready to earn back his spot after a month and a half away.

“Before he left he was super influential on the pitch,” Kloppo said in his pre-match presser. “He gave us an opportunity in a lot of moments to really involve and introduce a lot of offensive players because his protection was just exceptional, his playing side of the game as well.

“It’s his birthday today and turns 31. He looks good since he’s come back. With all the problems we have in the moment with players, it’s super important to have him back.”

Endo’s return also introduces the possibility for some tactical flexibility, rotating players like Alexis MacAllister, Curtis Jones, and Trent Alexander-Arnold in and out of midfield.

“Macca and Wataru can play together as well, there’s no doubt about that. It’s not a problem. We just have to make sure that we try as much as we can to bring them in the right moment together, so let’s see.”

Liverpool will likely kickoff against Burnely in second place, assuming Everton are themselves against Manchester City. The Reds will need to get back to their winning ways, and quickly, if they want to once again push City for the league title.

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