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Jurgen Klopp “pretty sure” Wataru Endo will sign new long-term contract at Liverpool

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Jurgen Klopp has claimed he is “pretty sure” Wataru Endo will sign a new long-term contract at Liverpool, despite already being 31 years old.

He wasn’t the official man of the match but, in the eyes of many, Endo was Liverpool’s most crucial player as he battled non-stop to push Liverpool on to their League Cup final win over Chelsea.

From start to finish, he held Liverpool’s midfield together, despite being hurt by Moises Caicedo towards the end.

After the match, Klopp was full of praise for the Japan captain, claiming: “We were lucky, we bring him in and I am pretty sure in three or four years Wataru will sign another long-term contract at Liverpool.

“He might be 30 or 31 in the passport, but he is not, he is a machine.”

With Ryan Gravenberch going off injured in the first half, and Alexis Mac Allister then being substituted in the 87th minute, Endo was the sole senior figure in Liverpool’s midfield during extra time.

He used all his experience to conserve his energy and pounce at the right times to win the ball back, managing 12 recoveries across the 120 minutes.

“Football wise, he’s just exceptional,” Klopp added.

“His defensive brain is outstanding; gives us a lot of freedom for a lot of things. Top development, I have to say. Very helpful, very helpful.”

Endo cost Liverpool just £16.25 million in the summer from Stuttgart, in a transfer market that was wildly inflated in the defensive midfield department.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 25, 2024: Liverpool's Wataru End? during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

His current contract is set to expire in 2027, which means he will be 34 years old when his proposed leaving date comes around.

One of many side plots to Sunday’s game against Chelsea, was that he would be coming up against the first man Liverpool tried to sign to play his position, Moises Caicedo.

That Endo outperformed, and ultimately beat Caicedo’s Chelsea team, was a reminder to the world of the business Liverpool pulled off.

Though the Reds were prepared to spend £110 million on the Ecuadorian, it is testament to the scouting department’s analytics that they were prepared to stick to their guns and approach Stuttgart, instead of bidding higher than Chelsea.

In some unfortunately unsurprising news, Endo was actually seen leaving Wembley on crutches, making him a doubt for Wednesday’s match against Southampton.