Liverpool FC have confirmed the signing of Wataru Endo from Stuttgart for a fee in the region of €19 million (£16.25m).
Endo is capable of operating as both a centre-back and right-back, though This Is Anfield understands he has been signed primarily to fulfil the role of defensive midfielder.
It is his performances in the latter position that caught the eye of both Jurgen Klopp and Jorg Schmadtke in recent seasons, leading to his shock move to Merseyside this summer.
A strong availability record and status as captain of his national team are also thought to have been a major part of his appeal.
Speaking to LFCTV regarding the signing, 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.
“Experienced player, captain of Stuttgart, captain of Japan, speaks good English, nice fella, family man, 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.”
Thiago (32) remains Liverpool’s oldest player in the midfield department but Endo bridges the gap between the Spaniard and the, now, third-youngest midfielder, Mac Allister (24).
The 30-year-old has taken the No. 3 shirt number at Liverpool, last worn by Fabinho.