Jurgen Klopp calls for Liverpool calm as they confirm £16m deal for Japan star Wataru Endo – and says he’s ‘REALLY happy’ despite snubs from £173m Chelsea duo Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia
- Liverpool have confirmed the £16million signing of Stuttgart’s Wataru Endo
- The Japan international has put pen-to-paper on a long-term contract at the club
- WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show
Liverpool have confirmed the £16million signing of Stuttgart midfielder Wataru Endo.
The Reds have been keen to sign a defensive midfield option this summer after missing out on deals to sign Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, who completed his £58m move to Chelsea on Friday.
Speaking to LFCTV, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said: ‘I’m really happy. Wataru is a really good player.
‘I know in this world of football how it goes and stuff like this, but have a look, have a look, because he’s a really good player.’
In his first interview with the club, Endo, whose penned a four-year deal said: ‘I’m very happy right now and I’m so excited to join a big club in Liverpool.
Liverpool have confirmed the £16million signing of Stuttgart midfielder Wataru Endo
Jurgen Klopp was pictured greeting the Japan international at Liverpool’s training centre
Liverpool boss Klopp spoke highly of the midfielder, labelling him a ‘real monster’
‘It feels amazing and this is my dream. It’s always [been] a dream to play [in the] Premier League and with one of the biggest clubs in the world. It’s a dream come true for me.
Endo added: ‘It’s going to be the first time for me that I play at Anfield. I can’t wait to play at Anfield in front of Liverpool fans.
‘I play as a No 6 and I’m like a bit more [of a] defensive player. I think I can help this club defensively and I will have good organisation in the middle. I think that’s my job.
‘I am very excited to join this club and I am looking forward to seeing you at Anfield!’
Endo had less than a year remaining on his Stuttgart contract and made 133 appearances for Stuttgart since he joined the club, initially on loan, from Sint Truiden.
The 30-year-old is well known to Liverpool sporting director Jorge Schmadtke and can also play at centre-back. Concerns have been raised about his age, but Klopp has no such worries, and revealed he has been tracking Endo for some time.
‘He is a late bloomer. He has improved ever year since he was on the proper football screen,’ Klopp said at his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game against Bournemouth.
‘When he came to Europe, it was not that easy. Now he has 50 games for Japan and I don’t know how many for Stuttgart. On the pitch, he turns into a real monster. He was on my screen for a long time already. I am personally really happy about it. Now, let’s start working.
‘In football, we close books far too early. That’s the world we are living in. My job is not to explain, our job is to make it happen on the pitch. We will see how much time we need to get used to what we do. I’m really happy these stories are still possible in the world of football.’
Klopp was non-committal when asked whether Endo would be available to make his Liverpool debut at Anfield on Saturday.
‘I don’t know if he’ll be available to play tomorrow yet. We will see,’ Klopp added.
The 30-year-old has put pen to paper on a four-year deal with the Merseyside club
Liverpool missed out on both Moises Caicedo (L) and Romeo Lavia – who both joined Chelsea
Liverpool have had to look to alternative options after failing to sign Caicedo or Lavia – who both opted for moves to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had a bid of £111m accepted for Caicedo, but the midfielder elected to move to west London from Brighton instead.
Klopp needed to make purchases in midfield after Fabinho joined Al-Ittihad and Jordan Henderson signed for Al-Ettifaq.
Liverpool have brought in two creative players this summer in Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai but are in need of a defensive midfielder, with Endo set to help their cause.