Premier League • England

Klopp sensationally reveals star’s next Liverpool contract, with ‘outstanding’ ace lined up for ‘long-term’ deal

Jurgen Klopp West Ham v Liverpoo

Jurgen Klopp has given an insight into the contract plans at Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has handed Liverpool fans great news by predicting that Wataru Endo will sign a new ‘long-term contract’ at Anfield, following his fantastic performance in the League Cup final.

Liverpool won the first of four potential trophies on Sunday as they beat Chelsea in extra time thanks to a Virgil van Dijk header, which saw Klopp lift the trophy for the second time. The Reds are hoping to send Klopp off on his sabbatical with numerous pieces of silverware and they are in a great position to do just that.

They sit top of the Premier League, one point ahead of Manchester City and two points ahead of Arsenal. They will also come up against Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round and Sparta Prague in the Europa League last-16.

One man who looks set to play a crucial role in the season run-in is Endo, the battle-hardened defensive midfielder who joined Liverpool from Stuttgart last summer.

Liverpool were forced to settle for the 31-year-old after missing out on other defensive midfielders including Moises Caicedo. However, it actually looks to be a fantastic piece of business as Endo was a rock in midfield during Liverpool’s Wembley triumph over Chelsea.

The Japan international provides vital steel and experience to the Liverpool midfield, allowing the likes of Harvey Elliott and Bobby Clark to get forward against Chelsea following Ryan Gravenberch’s injury.

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Following the cup win, Klopp was asked about Endo’s great display, as well as his impressive development throughout the campaign. The manager predicted Endo to eventually agree a fresh Liverpool contract, as his elite fitness means he has the potential to play beyond his mid-30s.

“A good development, huh? Yeah, I said it a couple of times we were lucky,” Klopp said in a post-match press conference (via “We bring him in and obviously Wataru, I’m pretty sure in three [or] four years Wataru will sign another long-term contract at Liverpool just because he might be 30 or 31 on his passport but he’s not. He’s a machine.

Wataru Endo ‘exceptional’ and ‘outstanding’ – Liverpool boss

“He is footballing-wise exceptional. His defensive brain is outstanding. He gives us a lot of freedom for a lot of things. Yeah, top development. Very helpful, very helpful.”

Klopp was also asked about Liverpool captain Van Dijk, who found the back of the net twice in the final but had his first goal chalked off for a foul in the build-up.

“I love talking about my players. I really love it,” Klopp added. “Virgil van Dijk from the first day since he stepped into Liverpool FC is absolutely outstanding. But you anyway in his lesser-good moments go for him like he didn’t want to perform. ‘Why is he like that?’ Sorry, they’re human beings, it happens from time to time.

“That we are not spot on probably happens to you as well. Yes, thank God, he’s absolutely spot on, top shape, we need him; we need them all. I think he learned an important lesson tonight for himself. Not that he needed to learn it, but we gave him the opportunity to learn it. Whatever happens, you always can win the game whatever.”

Liverpool will now turn their attention to the previously-mentioned FA Cup tie against Southampton, which will take place on Wednesday night. After that, the Merseyside outfit will continue their push for the Prem title by playing Nottingham Forest away from home on Saturday.

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