Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Liverpool transfer news: Klopp must thank Chelsea for €62m transfer decision

Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino, Liverpool, Chelsea, 2023/24

Liverpool wanted to sign both Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia during the summer transfer window, but the Reds lost out as Chelsea poached both players from under their noses.

After Caicedo’s move to Stamford Bridge, Lavia seemed destined to join Liverpool, however Chelsea once again hijacked the Reds’ pursuit, forcing them to sign a relatively unknown player by the name of Wataru Endo.

While Lavia has played just 32 minutes of action for Chelsea after a disastrous injury-hit first campaign at the club, Endo has developed into a crucial player for Liverpool. The Japan captain was sensational during the 1-1 draw against Manchester City on Sunday and he has been heavily praised in the aftermath of the game.

Endo was arguably this good during his time at Stuttgart, but nobody took a chance on him – potentially due to fears over whether his style would translate to a more ball-dominant side. However, his move to Liverpool has been sensational.

Back in December, Jurgen Klopp said: “The summer we had, we had a few strange things happen in the transfer market but here, between us, I can say ‘My god, were we lucky [we signed Endo instead of Caicedo and Lavia].’

“We obviously realised that other central defensive midfielders don’t want to join Liverpool, you see what happens, and then we found [Wataru] Endo. He’s an exceptional player.”

Wataru Endo at Liverpool

With Alexis Mac Allister often favoured as a defensive midfielder during the early weeks of the season, Endo has only started nine Premier League matches since his move from Stuttgart. However, Liverpool are unbeaten in all nine of those games, securing six wins and three draws.

In a battle against Rodri – arguably the best holding midfielder in the world – on Sunday, Endo came out on top. Just like he did against Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez in the Carabao Cup final.

During the crunch Premier League title clash at Anfield, Endo won six of his seven attempted duels, while he also completed six recoveries, four tackles and two interceptions.

The Japan international has well and truly replaced Fabinho and he is set to play a key role during the title run-in.

Lavia joined Chelsea for €62.1 million last summer, but the Belgian has made absolutely no impact in west London. As a result, Liverpool will be extremely thankful they didn’t sign the midfielder from Southampton as it enabled them to secure a bargain buy in the form of Endo (€20m).

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