Wataru Endo could make his full Liverpool debut at Newcastle United on Sunday after signing from VfB Stuttgart, where he was very well regarded
Former VfB Stuttgart star Hansi Muller has admitted he was shocked to hear “complete player” Wataru Endo was leaving the Bundesliga side to join Liverpool.
Endo made the move to Anfield last week after Liverpool reacted swiftly to missing out on deals for Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo, with the duo opting to join Chelsea.
The Japan international made his Reds debut during the second half of last weekend’s victory over Bournemouth just hours after the he made the £16m move from Stuttgart, where he was captain.
But back in Germany, Muller, who made over 150 appearances during a seven-year career with Stuttgart, admitted his disappointment at seeing the 30-year-old leave the MHPArena, and paid him a huge compliment.
“I was shocked when I heard that Endo was leaving VfB,” said the former West Germany star, speaking to Sport 1. “He was the heart and soul of the team, unfortunately he cannot be replaced one-to-one because he is simply a complete player.
“If a player expresses the desire to fulfil his dream with England, then you can’t keep him by force. He would then have his head somewhere else and that goes wrong.
“There is no talk of a sell-out. VfB also has some newcomers who have not yet been used. They have made forward-looking commitments to compensate for possible departures.”
Endo is expected to make his first start for the Liverpool on Sunday afternoon when they travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United after Jurgen Klopp confirmed that neither Curtis Jones nor Thiago Alcantara will be available to face the Magpies.
Speaking on Friday of Endo, Reds boss Klopp said: “It’s still early days, but, yes, you are right [he can contribute].
“It came, on top of that, after one and half days pretty much, half a session. Playing in a team who has to defend with 10 men is really difficult, I think he did really exceptionally for that.
“Now we have him here for three or four sessions this week. [He] looks good. He’s a really good player.”