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Jurgen Klopp explains change to FSG transfer plan and addresses Alisson rumours

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Jurgen Klopp explains change to FSG transfer plan and addresses Alisson rumours

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp opens up on signing Wataru Endo and gives clear view on further Saudi Arabia exits

Jurgen Klopp has explained his faith in Wataru Endo made him convince Fenway Sports Group to veer away from their usual transfer policy to sanction the deal – and is convinced Liverpool supporters “will love” the new arrival.

Endo became the Reds third midfield signing of the summer when he completed a £16.25million transfer from Bundesliga side Stuttgart on Friday.

The Japan international captain could be in line for an instant debut against Bournemouth at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon should he receive international clearance and his work permit be granted in time.

At 30 years old, Endo is the third oldest player Liverpool have bought for a fee under FSG, with Ragnar Klavan the same age when signed by Klopp in the summer of 2016 while Brendan Rodgers brought in 32-year-old Rickie Lambert in 2014.

And Klopp accepts it can be difficult sticking to the owners’ preferred approach in the transfer market while insisting Endo had always been an option as the Reds searched for defensive midfield reinforcement following the departures of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.

“Yeah, you know it is not traditionally like that,” said the Liverpool boss of Endo’s arrival. “It is always a discussion that we have. The owners really want 200 games at 20 years old. That is pretty difficult.

“I did not need any kind of convincing. I know that the best time for a football player is from 27 to 33 in a normal career. It depends on injuries, of course. That is why I did not need to change anything and he was on my list from the beginning. Now he is here.”

While Klopp acknowledges Endo hasn’t captured the imagination quite like fellow summer arrivals Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, he has called on supporters to reserve judgement until they see him in action – and revealed he has been inundated with messages from Germany praising him for the signing.

“It is a transfer that is not in the public eye,” said the Reds boss. “It’s not ‘Oh my God!’ and probably nobody at this moment is texting a new song for him.

“But wait. He has something that Liverpool supporters will love, definitely. He is already used to red a little bit, so that’s good, and when he puts that shirt on he will throw everything on the pitch and the people will love that, I know that.

“We had this with James Milner a little bit. Obviously a slightly different profile but could you respect James Milner more for playing 15 minutes at the end and just closing a game down?

“I got plenty of messages from former players of mine and stuff like this. Everybody (was like), ‘If it’s true, this is a genius strike, I asked to sign him for years’ and stuff like this. It was a very positive thing in Germany – he’s super-highly respected.”

The arrival of Endo underlines how Klopp still holds major sway over transfers at the club, but even the Liverpool boss admits he was powerless to persuade Fabinho to resist the lucrative lure of Saudi Arabia.

“Yes I have influence but nobody could have influenced that,” he said. “It was not about a lack of power or anything like that, absolutely not. It was just not to avoid.”

Henderson also joined the Saudi Pro League, who have also sounded an interest in other Liverpool players with goalkeeper Alisson Becker the most recent. But Klopp added: “That should not happen. Ali can play for another 10 years probably. Fab not and Hendo not, that’s a massive difference. Nobody came to me so far.”

Including the end of last season, Liverpool are now unbeaten in 12 Premier League games – the longest such current run in the top flight. Klopp must decide whether to make changes for the visit of Bournemouth, with Harvey Elliott and Darwin Nunez pressing for a start in midfield and up front respectively having been substitutes in the 1-1 draw at Chelsea last Sunday..

Curtis Jones is likely to miss out with a twisted ankle, while the game has come too soon for midfield duo Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic.

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