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Danny Murphy says Jurgen Klopp now has an ‘aggressive’ player who he didn’t really want at Liverpool



Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was not planning to bring in Wataru Endo during the summer.

Endo was a surprise arrival at Anfield ahead of the new season. Having been slogging away at Stuttgart for the past few seasons, no one predicted the Japanese would be on his way to Liverpool.

Nevertheless, Endo has done a decent job for the Reds so far. And speaking on TalkSPORT yesterday, former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy says the 30-year-old fitted into what Jurgen Klopp wants from his midfielders.

“What Liverpool did is they realised quickly. They saw last season and have gone, ‘come, on’,” began the pundit. “So who’ve they brought in? They’ve brought in Szoboszlai, I mean you don’t get a better athletic player than that.

“He’s technically gifted as well, but what does Klopp love from his midfielders? Press, press, press. Can you go 18 yard box to 18 yard box? Like the great three he had with Henderson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Milner, those four actually, who could just do the work, because the other three won them the games.

“Gravenberch – super athlete. Six foot plus, fast, quick, strong. Then, okay, he wasn’t his first choice because they were after Caicedo I know, but Endo comes in. Tenacious, aggressive, defensive-minded player, captain of Stuttgart. They identify the players they need for the way they want to play.”

Endo slots in at Liverpool

Murphy’s point is worth exploring here. As we come towards the January transfer window, there will be links emerging to many different players.

But, subconsciously or not, fans will lean towards signing one player over another.

For example, there is a bit of a train for Liverpool to bring in Joao Palhinha from Fulham right now. No other player will do according to some supporters, Palhinha is the one they need if they want to win the Premier League.

In the summer, a lot of fans saw that player as being Moises Caicedo. For plenty of people, it was Caicedo or bust in terms of a defensive midfielder.

But as Endo – and Alexis Mac Allister – have shown, there are many different ways to skin this particular cat.

Both Endo and to a lesser extent Mac Allister fit the mould of what Klopp wanted from a No.6. By targeting a profile of player rather than a player specifically, it can lead to a more cohesive transfer strategy.

Murphy goes on to use Manchester United’s policy of buying players as a polar opposite of Liverpool. And it is. United tend to target ‘names’ instead of those who can slot into their style of football – whatever that is. Until they get those things on the same page, they won’t be successful.

So, although people scoffed a little at the signing of Endo, his arrival actually showed that Liverpool are in healthy shape. They can bring in a player who wasn’t necessarily first, second or even third choice and still have him doing a job. Now that’s how you build a team.

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