Jurgen Klopp has suggested that Wataru Endo could be in line for a lengthy bench stint, at least for the remainder of Liverpool’s league campaign.
After the Reds’ 3-1 win over West Ham, the 55-year-old was asked about the Japan captain, with the former clarifying that his summer signing should be viewed as a long-term project after just appearing for an incredibly brief cameo at Anfield.
“He needs to adjust to life here. “Wataru is a fantastic guy, very calm and polite,” the German told reporters.
“That probably cost him the first two weeks.” That is gradually improving. He’s not unclean or anything, and he just wants to get people out of his way so he can join the team, but he’s getting better every day.
“You saw that today; he’s there, and he’ll be of great assistance to us.” He will play games, initiate games, and do other things of this nature. It’s all good.
“In a very short period of time, he had three or four games for us.” That is all that matters; this is not a short-term project.”
At 30 years old, the assertion may elicit a few chuckles from the fanbase, especially with the presence of far younger operators on Merseyside such as Curtis Jones (22) and Alexis Mac Allister (22).
Regardless, there’s no reason to be concerned about the player’s future with the team just yet.
Many fans will recall how long it took former No.6 Fabinho to settle in at Liverpool, with Klopp notorious for taking his time with particular players when he believes it is necessary.
Still, we can see why there were a few raised eyebrows after the manager was caught on camera telling Endo how much he was required at L4 to play a defensive role in an extremely top-heavy side.
We’ve gotten by very well without a genuine holding midfielder, but one has to think that the former Stuttgart player will play a bigger role in the side as the season goes.