Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was “privately delighted” he was able to sign Japanese midfielder Wataru Endo, according to a journalist.
After failing to sign Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, who have both signed for Chelsea, Liverpool turned to Stuttgart captain Endo.
When news of Liverpool’s interest broke it came as a massive surprise and was almost laughed off after the Reds’ failed £110million bid for Caicedo.
Endo is a fine addition, however, and clearly one Klopp is happy with, even if he wasn’t his first choice.
According to Daily Mail journalist Lewis Steele, the signing “delighted” Klopp, who watched the Japanese midfielder “for months” and is “buoyed by his personality”.
“Wataru Endo is not a headline-grabbing signing and that suits Liverpool,” Steele said in a Q&A. “Few fans outside of Merseyside were discussing this one last weekend.
“Saying that, though, he is a good bit of business and Jurgen Klopp was privately delighted with it.
“Plenty of Klopp’s former colleagues have contacted him to wax lyrical about Endo, and one former Dortmund star said it could be one of the finest bits of business of his career.
“Klopp has watched footage of Endo for months and is said to be buoyed by his personality especially, with the Japanese having an infectious smile and leader-like traits.
“He has a near-perfect injury record and can play at right-back and centre-back as well, which is needed.
“At just £16.2million, it gives Liverpool breathing room financially to make another addition and they are still trying to do so but his arrival means they are now less desperate.”
Steele also responded to a question about Liverpool’s reluctance to spend big despite having the money available, which is evident from the £110m bid for Caicedo.
The journalist insists the Reds “won’t be humiliated by paying big fees” after missing out on Caicedo and Lavia.
“Liverpool’s failed pursuit for Romeo Lavia frustrated fans as they were only slightly short of Southampton’s valuation, but it was never down to a lack of funds more how Liverpool value the player,” Steele added.
“With many deals this summer, the Reds have set their internal valuation of players, based on age, experience and how ready-made they are for Jurgen Klopp’s system. That’s why they stalled over the Lavia deal – they thought it was ridiculous to pay such a price for a player with one season of Premier League experience, and it was noted by those in the recruitment team that his only top-flight campaign ended in relegation.
“It is the same for Cheick Doucoure, for example, who only joined Crystal Palace a year ago. Liverpool are not cash strapped but won’t be humiliated by paying big fees in the market.”
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