‘Didn’t want to let go’ – Liverpool new boy in sad end at former club as Klopp poached prized asset

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool, June 2023

Jurgen Klopp fist pumps after win

Stuttgart sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth has revealed that Wataru Endo is one player the club “didn’t want to let go” but Liverpool forced them to allow the sad ending.

The Reds struggled throughout the summer window to make a lot of transfers stick. The most well documented examples were those of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia.

The former ended up at Chelsea despite Liverpool agreeing a £110million deal with Brighton, as the Reds failed to do their due diligence on if he actually wanted to join.

Lavia was a similar situation, but less of a scathing blow. Jurgen Klopp’s side bid over the odds for him at £60million, and despite that, he also opted for the Stamford Bridge outfit.

Liverpool had Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai in place for months – having triggered the release clauses of both – but their failures in many pursuits compounded the angst of seeing five midfielders walk out the door.

It would have been music to Klopp’s ears when Stuttgart allowed Japan international Endo to leave for Liverpool.

While he was seemingly nowhere near the top of the list in the first half of the transfer window, the club’s desperation meant they’d have been ecstatic to land him.

Stuttgart, on the other hand, were gutted by the departure of their captain.

Stuttgart ‘didn’t want to let go’ of Endo

Sporting director Wohlgemuth has spoken of the club’s reluctance to allow the midfielder to leave after the unexpected approach.

“Wataru is a player that we actually didn’t want to let go. To be honest, we didn’t have Liverpool on our list as an interested party. We were informed by the player’s advisors about Liverpool’s interest a few hours before the offer was received,” he told Bild.

However, that Endo desperately wanted the move made it tricky to say no, and the finances the Reds put down then meant Stuttgart needed to sanction Endo’s sad departure from the club.

“Wataru himself really wanted to take this step regardless of our offer to extend the contract. Because the facts were on the table, we had no choice but to agree to Jörg Schmadtke with our revised financial demands,” Wohlegmuth added.

“In the end, we came to an agreement relatively quickly in the negotiations.”

Endo ready to put stamp on Liverpool

While he’s yet to really get going at Anfield, Endo has only played three games, and has obviously been getting up to speed in a new league. Klopp explained the midfielder had “absolutely no clue what to do” in his first game as he got used to things.

But that he clearly wanted the transfer so much means he’ll be raring to go and put his stamp on the side.

The midfield departure numbers outweigh those that have come in, meaning Endo will have a lot of football to play.

With that being said, he’ll be able to show fans of his new side what he can bring, and why he was so keen to move to Liverpool.

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