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Jurgen Klopp outlines Liverpool midfield general who ran himself into the ground vs Chelsea

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on Wataru Endo for his formidable performance in the Carabao Cup victory over Chelsea

Jurgen Klopp lauded the performance of Liverpool star Wataru Endo in the Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea, playing a pivotal role. Endo dominated the midfield after starting the game alongside Alexis Mac Allister and Ryan Gravenberch.

 

Gravenberch suffered an injury during the first half after a malicious challenge from Moises Caicedo as Harvey Elliott partnered with Endo. Mac Allister came off in the 87th minute of the game for youngster James McConnell as Endo continued to play. He played the whole 120 minutes for the Reds and didn’t run until the final whistle to ensure the victory.

Endo has been a pivotal part of Klopp’s setup this season and the only natural defensive midfielder in the squad. He dominated the Chelsea midfield that consisted of Moises Caicedo, Conor Gallagher and Enzo Fernandez, who cost more than £200mil.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Wataru Endo of Liverpool bites his medal after the team’s victory in the Carabao Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on February 25, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The 31-year-old finished the game with 89 touches, 91% passing accuracy, three clearances and six tackles (h/t Sofa Score). Furthermore, he won 11 out of 17 ground duels and one out of two aerial duels. He also made one key pass and one crucial block to keep the team in the competition.

Speaking after the Carabao Cup victory (h/t Fabrizio Romano’s X Account), Klopp paid tribute to Endo for his incredible performance. He said:

“Wataru Endo, oh my God. What a guy, what a player. He walked through the ceremony with the stiffest legs I ever saw”

The Japan captain has made 29 appearances in all competitions, contributing with three goals and an assist so far. His transfer received a lot of sceptical response from a section of the fanbase and British media.

The Reds attempted to sign Caicedo who opted to join Chelsea for a massive price tag during the summer. Liverpool’s signing of Endo took everyone by surprise due to his obscure reputation and the fact that he played for lower-positioned Stuttgart. Furthermore, his age also played a big factor in naysayer’s doubt over the signing while Liverpool lacked a natural number-six.

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