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Klopp on Wataru Endo Signing: “I’m Sure He Can Help Us Immediately”

The Liverpool manager says the club’s newest signing is a player he’s had his eye on for a while.

Liverpool Unveil New Signing Wataru Endo Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool have completed the signing of Japan and Stuttgart captain Wataru Endo, brining in the 30-year-old defensive specialist to fill the gap at the base of Jürgen Klopp’s rebuilt midfield, and Klopp says even if it’s not a name many fans will recognise, Endo is worth getting excited about.

“Wataru is a really good player,” Klopp noted following his signing. “I know in this world of football how it goes, but have a look, because he’s a really good player. Experienced player, captain of Stuttgart, captain of Japan, machine on the pitch, good footballer on top of that, sensational attitude.

“So, I’m really happy. He’s a good footballer, very experienced and loves to work extremely hard. I think for Stuttgart it’s really hard to lose him but on the other side I think it’s a good deal as well, one year left [on his] contract. For him, it’s good. For the club, it’s good. For us, it’s really good.”

The Liverpool manager acknowledged that for some who have been caught up in chasing big names for big fees in recent weeks, a veteran from a relegation-threatened German side on a bargain fee might raise eyebrows, but he insists the player is one he’s long had his eye on and admired.

Certainly on paper, the player’s profile suggests that based on everything bar age he’s a near perfect fit for what Liverpool want from a defensive midfielder—and having lost a pair of veterans in Jordan Henderson and Fabinho this summer, adding experience back into the mix is no bad thing.

“If he’s not 30 I am not sure we get him,” Klopp added. “He was always on my list, just usually we don’t sign players of this age group. He is obviously a top fit and we will have a lot of fun with him. I’m sure he can help us immediately, which is super-cool because the season already started.

“He will show how good he is on the pitch and I can’t wait to have him around. Of course we need to figure out how quick can we put him in, but it will not be a physical problem, let me say that. And the rest, he should play the position he played for Stuttgart, so there’s not a massive difference.

“Of course we do things slightly differently it would be cool if he could win challenges and pass the ball from A to B—and he will do that, definitely, from day one. Look, I know how this football world works, [but] he’s really good and I’m really happy with that signing. It’s a really good one.”

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