Jurgen Klopp claims Wataru Endo made his Liverpool debut in ‘horrible’ circumstances, conceding that the new signing ‘had absolutely no idea what to do’ in the situation.
The 30-year-old midfielder was only unveiled as a Liverpool player on Friday after his unexpected transfer move from Stuttgart.
The Japan skipper was immediately put on the bench at Anfield on Saturday and was thrown into the action 63 minutes in, replacing Cody Gakpo.
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The substitution was made just as Diogo Jota made it 3-1 to the Reds, but they were not comfortable as shortly beforehand Alexis Mac Allister had been shown a red card.
It was a chaotic last 30 minutes that Endo was thrown into, and Klopp did not expect him to shine in the circumstances.
On Endo’s debut, Klopp said: ‘Horrible [circumstances]. First game, coming in, I think we saw that Harvey [Elliott], who’s in a really good moment, came on in this game as well and was running left and right and the heart rate was 240.
‘Pretty much the same for Endo. The two days he had – no surprise! He did absolutely alright, but he came there and had absolutely no clue what to do.
‘I spoke this morning with him about how, with 11 players, his position would look. A 4-4-1 was not involved in our conversation. That’s it now.
‘I don’t think he slept a lot in the last two nights, so he came on and threw everything he had onto the pitch. That’s it.’
‘When Lucho is fit, I think nobody has any doubt about his quality,’ said Klopp. ‘It was an exceptional goal he scored, an absolutely exceptional goal.
‘Top-class, in a very good shape, but the second half was really tough for him as well. Being part of this new midfield, that was really hard for him and you could see that.
‘Besides that, as long as he was fresh and everything he was obviously super, super. A massive threat for everybody. He is in a good moment, no doubt about it.’