Jurgen Klopp explains lack of minutes for summer signing

  • Liverpool signed Wataru Endo for £16m in the summer transfer window
  • Japan international has only started one Premier League game
  • Jurgen Klopp addresses the lack of minutes for the Reds so far

Wataru Endo has played 90 minutes in the Premier League so far this season
Wataru Endo has played 90 minutes in the Premier League so far this season / Matt McNulty/GettyImages

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that summer signing Wataru Endo is a "super important part of the squad" and will "start games" for the Reds this season, having played only five minutes across the club's last three Premier League fixtures.

Liverpool turned to Endo, almost relegated from the Bundesliga with Stuttgart last season, for around £16m in the same week that it became clear that Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia were both going to join Chelsea for a combined £173m instead.

Endo made his Liverpool debut as a substitute for the final half hour of the club's Premier League opener against Bournemouth. He then started against Newcastle but was withdrawn inside an hour before the Reds eventually went on to mount a comeback win.

Klopp;s message about Endo was similar after both games, saying after Bournemouth that it was "horrible" circumstances for the Japan international to come into after Alexis Mac Allister was sent off and that he had "absolutely no clue what to do".

After Newcastle, the boss said: "Endo has no clue on what we actually do."

Since then, Endo has hardly featured in the Premier League and played 61 minutes of the LASK game in the Europa League before being taken off. In the wake of just two minutes, plus stoppage time, at the end of Sunday's win over West Ham, Klopp was asked why the signing isn't involved much.

"He needs to get used to the things here," Klopp said, via the Mirror. "Wataru is a super guy, very calm and very polite and that cost him the first two weeks, maybe. That's now getting there. He wants to get some people out of the way to get into the team, but he is improving every day.

Wataru Endo's only Premier League start ended after 58 minutes
Wataru Endo's only Premier League start ended after 58 minutes / LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

"He will help us a lot, he will play games, he will start games. It's all good, he had already three or four games now for us in a very short period. That is what counts, it is not a short-term project. Wataru is a super important part of the squad and I am really happy to have him."

Liverpool maintained their strong start to the new season by beating West Ham United 3-1 at Anfield. Mohamed Salah opened the scoring from the penalty spot, after being tripped by Nayef Aguerd, though Jarrod Bowen's stooping header ensured the two sides went in level at the break.

But goals from Darwin Nunez and substitute Diogo Jota ensured Liverpool took maximum points from a fixture they have now won 12 times from the last 14 meetings, firing Klopp's side up to second by champions Manchester City – they maintained their perfect 100 per cent win record after coasting past Nottingham Forest 2-0 on Saturday.