News'A really good one' - Jürgen Klopp's reaction to Wataru Endo signing
Jürgen Klopp expressed his delight at Liverpool's acquisition of Wataru Endo from VfB Stuttgart.
The midfielder became the club's third recruit of the summer transfer window on Friday after completing the formalities of his transfer from Germany at the AXA Training Centre.
Endo boasts considerable experience as captain of Stuttgart and the Japan national team, but also the playing traits that make him an excellent fit for the Reds, according to his new manager.
Liverpoolfc.com caught up with Klopp to get his thoughts on the new No.3 – see the interview below...
Jürgen, the club have agreed a deal to sign Wataru Endo from Stuttgart. Firstly, what's your reaction? And secondly, what kind of qualities will he add to the squad?
I'm really happy. Wataru is a really good player. I know in this world of football how it goes and stuff like this, but have a look, have a look, because he's a really good player. Experienced player, captain of Stuttgart, captain of Japan, speaks good English, nice fella, family man, machine on the pitch, good footballer on top of that, sensational attitude. So, I'm really happy. He's a good footballer, very experienced and loves to work extremely hard.
There's obviously been a lot of talk in Germany since the rumours emerged about his qualities as a player. What have people over there told you?
Since there's a rumour out or was a rumour out, 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. I think for Stuttgart it's really hard to lose him but on the other side I think it's a good deal as well, one year left [on his] contract. For him, it's good. For the club, it's good. For us, it's really good. He is really happy to join us, which is nice as well.
You kind of mentioned it in your first answer, but Wataru is 30 and captain of Japan and Stuttgart. Is that experience important to add to the squad?
Absolutely. Again, in our club usually that's the situation... if he's not 30, firstly, I am not sure we get him. Second, he was always on my list, just usually we don't sign players of this age group. He is obviously a top fit and we will have a lot of fun with him. I'm really sure he can help us immediately, which is super-cool because the season already started. So, he will show how good he is on the pitch and I can't wait to have him around.
Just on that in terms of his own fitness and the work he's done with Stuttgart...
Yeah, he had a full pre-season. I'm not sure he played all the pre-season games but he played pre-season games, so that's all. He was in full training. When we spoke first time, he came off the training pitch! He's in a good shape. Of course we need to figure out how quick can we put him in, but it will not be a physical problem, let me say it like that. And the rest, he should play here the position he played for Stuttgart, so there's not a massive difference. Yes, of course, we do things slightly differently but in the end it would be cool if he could win challenges and pass the ball from A to B – and he will do that, definitely, from day one. Look, I know how this football world works and I can see that in people's eyes. The names were flying around and when they think, 'OK, they have them, they have them, they have them', do me a favour, give us a second and let's have a look. He's really good and I'm really happy with that signing, I can't say it differently. It's a really good one.