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We really need you and your heart, your legs, your soccer skills, your… – Jurgen Klopp stressed to Endo

Oct 9, 2023 #Wataru Endo

Alexis Mac Allister was not signed as Liverpool’s number six, but it was Wataru Endo who has consistently seen the Argentine take on the role so far this season.

“We really need you,” Jurgen Klopp stressed to Endo during their first meeting in the inner sanctum of Liverpool’s training ground.

“We really need you and your heart, your legs, your soccer skills and your soccer brains. Your wishes, we need that.”

The 30-year-old was paid a surprise £16.25m after bids for Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo fell through and he has made just one Premier League appearance since then.

There was a clear gap in Liverpool’s eleven as a specialist number six, but instead Mac Allister was left in a position that does not suit his qualifications.

The Argentine is not a defensive midfielder, which raises the question of why Endo was signed, when and if he will be trusted, and what he expects from the number six role.

What is temporary almost feels like something permanent.

First, looking back at the end of last season, it is clear that Fabinho needs a capable deputy who is willing to learn from the Brazilian, but who can also play a full role in the starting XI.

It’s a non-negotiable and when Fabinho moved for £40 million it was a natural move for the club, with a quality defensive midfielder rising to the top of their wish list.

However, Liverpool splurged on the No. 8 jersey, with Endo stationed in front of the defensive line as the only specialist.

Mac Allister, who started the season at number six, initially appeared to be a temporary solution, but he proved to be an intelligent, patient and disciplined player who could withstand opposition pressure. .

However, apart from the trip to Newcastle, he played all the matches as the deepest midfielder.

In his 10 appearances so far, Mac Allister has left the feeling that he could achieve more if given the freedom to play on the left side of midfield, his favorite position.

This is not a criticism of a player who is not designed to be the deepest midfielder, but he lacks speed and often leaves too much space for only himself to cover.


The No. 10 insists he has no hesitation in playing the role, saying after the draw against Brighton that he “loves it”. “I think we’ve improved a lot defensively over the last few years, and I think that’s a job we can do well,” he said.

But the difference in this league is that being ‘good’ is not always enough to enable a team to compete for the title, and Liverpool have that potential.

The question of why Klopp remains so stubborn and how long he will continue to be so stubborn is even more mysterious.

The Reds are just three points clear of top spot in the Premier League, progressing to the next round of the League Cup and are top of their Europa League group.

That’s not to say Liverpool are on fire, on the contrary, the sooner they can promote Mac Allister to the role he does best and have a specialist No. 6 by his side. That’s fine.

So the question arises, why isn’t Endo used in the Premier League?

Have you seen this before? The first game in which Endo qualified was against Bournemouth, and after Mac Allister was shown an incorrect red card, 30-year-old Endo rose to 6th place.

It wasn’t an easy start, the day after he was introduced and played in 10 men, and things weren’t much better when he was included in the 11 for the first time, as the Reds went down to 10 men again against Newcastle.

Since making his only start in a league match, Endo has only played 22 minutes in the Premier League, starting instead as part of the midweek rotation squad in the League Cup and Europa League.

Klopp said the former Stuttgart player would have to “get used to the situation here” and was “not a short-term project”, adding that the manager’s approach was not too similar to that used by Fabinho.

When the Brazilian arrived, he too had to wait to adapt to Liverpool’s demands, having only become a starter for 2019 at the start of 2018 and benefited from pre-season training.

However, it is worrying that the midfielder is constantly playing in the wrong position and overlooking the team’s only specialist, who was at least Liverpool’s third choice this summer.

Like Mac Allister, Endo has the same concerns about pace, and although he has the ability to move the ball forward quickly, it suggests Klopp still doesn’t fully trust his new number three. is not so far-fetched.

He had to limit Mac Allister’s options by saying, “If we defend well as a team, he can definitely play with six,” but what if the defense is not up to par? We’ve seen what happens.

Square pegs and round holes. Mac Allister has played the fifth-most minutes of any Liverpool player this season (688), has already picked up three yellow cards and despite clearly struggling at times against Brighton, Endo was never called on from the bench.

There is an adjustment period underway and you sense he will become the secondary player in the position, eventually, but Liverpool need more from him now.

Klopp is clearly content with having a square peg in Mac Allister trying to fit into a circle hole, rather than opt for circle peg in Endo to fit that very same hole.

With Klopp professing on Endo’s first day that “we really need you” and subsequently not using him in the league, it is currently a wonder why Liverpool opted for the former Stuttgart captain as his lone No. 6 signing.

The hope is that will all quickly become apparent in the near future, but for now, the questions will continue to linger over Endo’s suitability and how Liverpool still feel they can get more out of an out of position Mac Allister.

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