Jurgen Klopp delighted with ‘oldest to youngest’ midfield rebuild – “It was time”

Jurgen Klopp has hailed the depth of quality in his new midfield, expressing particular delight in being able to bring down the age of his side’s engine.

The Reds conducted major surgery in the middle of the park during the summer, with the departures of five senior midfielders making way for the arrivals of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch.

It has drastically reduced the average age of Liverpool’s players in that area of the pitch, with the manager pleased by the way that transition has been managed.

Klopp has admitted “it was time” to replenish his midfield ahead of the new season, adding that the players who have arrived all bring “different” qualities to his team.

“People want change in the right moment, you don’t want to change when you don’t need to and [then] people say, ‘hey, why did we change?’,” the boss explained, quoted by the club’s official website.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 16, 2023: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister, manager Jürgen Klopp, Kostas Tsimikas, assistant manager Peter Krawietz, Wataru Endo, first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders, goalkeeping coach John Achterberg, head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmayer, Stefan Bajcetic look on from the bench during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“But obviously it was time. From the oldest midfield in the league to nearly the youngest in the league, it’s good.

“The players we brought in are all quality and different. Macca is a different No. 6 to Fab. Ryan, Dom and even Wataru are different.

“I love the team, it’s really cool and good to work with.

“Yes, the potential is there. Now we have to make sure together that we can make quality of it, consistent quality.

“With Endo, just because of the age people think, ‘why is he not like that?’

“He is a different character to the other boys and you can see the steps he is making.

“He has another five years of top football in his legs.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 29, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“He has a lot of potential and he never played on this level before but now consistently I am really happy with him.”

Liverpool are flying high with their revitalised midfield, sitting just three points behind Premier League leaders Tottenham and having made perfect starts in the League Cup and Europa League.

Despite being aged 30, it is interesting to hear that Klopp views Endo as a long-term feature in the squad, while the other summer recruits are all under the age of 25.

There was no doubt that the Reds needed to make tweaks in the middle during the summer transfer window, but the departures of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson to the Saudi Pro League came as something of a surprise.

Szoboszlai in particular has hit the ground running at Anfield, and Klopp will be hoping his team can continue to make positive strides in their quest to lift silverware in May.