Liverpool reds are enjoying their life at the top of the table right now, all thanks to last night’s 2-0 victory at Turf Moor.
It was an all around great performance with every player contributing towards team’s success equally, but we have to talk about a certain Japanese player who has been extra special. Yes, we are talking about Wataru Endo.
The 30 year old defensive midfielder put on a show on Boxing day and has earned high praise from the manager. “Wataru Endo, what a game he played.” Jurgen Klopp was heard talking to Amazon Prime Video post-match.
After the game Klopp was seen hugging and lifting the Japanese national team captain and that scene has become the highlight of the game.
The bear hug is making rounds on the internet and everybody is appreciating the manager’s gesture and praising the midfielder’s performance.
Klopp seems to have a special bond with Endo. Bringing the 30 year old from VfB Stuttgart for around £16 million while breaking Liverpool norms to sign a player who is at the far end of his career was for sure a bold step.
But the risk seems to have paid off as Endo is taking over from injured Mac Allister very well. He has already started 5 games in just 13 days for the Reds.
Klopp has protected Endo from media criticism like a papa bear as well. Coming to a huge club like Liverpool, the midfielder was bound to have every move of his put under the lens, especially with his faltering early performances.
Even Klopp’s comment mentioning how Endo has no clue regarding what to do, in the context of him being new to the team were taken in the wrong light. The player had faith in the coach still and dismissed them as misinterpretation.
Such is the trust among the player and the manager, that even after being 1 yellow card away from suspension not only did Klopp start the player but entrusted the whole 90 minutes to him.
He was extremely happy with performance and considered Endo as a Man of the Match candidate.
Jurgen had welcomed the player to the team himself and mentioned that the desire and the football brain of Endo is what attracted him. Klopp has even confessed his love for the Japanese international in his own words, “I love him. What a boy, and what a player,”
The coach admitted that Endo brings in a different style of play and that no one else in his squad has the tackling capabilities like that of his.
His defensive prowess is what the team needs to go all the way. This special bond can be seen in the body language when both of them interact too.
It seems like Klopp is a fan of the talent and work rate of Japanese players for a while now. He has managed to win trophies with the likes of Shinji Kagawa and Minamino and the next champions medal could be Endo’s.
Klopp has been introducing the summer signing to the PL environment little by little and it has been Argentinian Alexis Mac Allister and Hungarian Dominik Szoboszolai who have been handling the central area.
Unfortunately for Liverpool though, as the player was finding his footing in the team, he is now leaving for Asian cup after the upcoming away game vs Newcastle.
He will miss out on all the action for 1 month at the very least alongside Mohammed Salah who is bound to leave for AFCON too.
Klopp seem to be aware of the situation as he mentioned, “He’s very important. We will miss him.”