MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

“My god, what a game!” – Jurgen Klopp pleased Wataru Endo has ‘found his feet’

Jurgen Klopp twice made sure to heap praise on Wataru Endo after his display at Burnley, but lamented the timing of his emergence as he prepares to miss a chunk of domestic games.

Endo made his seventh successive start for the Reds at Turf Moor and he had the fourth-most touches of any player (92), won four of his six aerial duels and created two chances.

The 30-year-old has stepped up in the absence of Alexis Mac Allister and has thrived, growing in confidence and showing why Liverpool sought him out in the summer.

It was not lost on Klopp that Endo has now found his feet in the side, and the timing is not ideal as he will leave for the Asian Cup after the visit of Newcastle.

“I loved his game, I have to say. It’s a bit of a shame he finds his feet and now he goes to the Asian Cup,” Klopp told reporters at Turf Moor.

“That’s how it is, it’s fine. What a boy, what a player. Very important, but in January we have to play more or less without him.

“But against Newcastle he is still here and then the boys [Endo and Mo Salah] leave and we have to find another way, and we will.

“For the moment, I am really happy for him. Took him a little bit to really show how good he really is, but now we can see it. I’m really happy about that.”

Liverpool’s No. 3 will miss, at the very least, four matches while he captains his country in the Asian Cup, but a run to the final would see him return in mid-February.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 1, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Dean Court. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He will be a big loss for the Reds, and Klopp made that known as he threw Endo’s name into the hat for Man of the Match at Turf Moor – which was ultimately awarded to Virgil van Dijk.

“By the way, Virgil Man of the Match [is] absolutely fine,” he told Prime Video. “Another one who could’ve been in contention is Wataru Endo, my god what a game he played, eh?

“I would love to see that game without him, that would be really strange.”