Trent slighted? Endo's distribution 'missed in the past' at Liverpool

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 29 Sept 2023 18:57 BST
  • 3 min read
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool, 2022/23
© ProShots

Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on new signing Wataru Endo, saying the Japanese's distribution was 'missed in the past' at Liverpool.

Endo's transfer from Stuttgart this summer raised a few eyebrows, with most from outside of Japan or Germany unfamiliar with the 30-year-old midfielder, who cost the Reds €20 million.

Article continues under the video

He has been used largely from the bench in the Premier League with Klopp preferring fellow summer arrivals Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister in conjunction with Curtis Jones in his midfield three, but he has been starting in cup competitions.

READ: Wataru Endo Liverpool's Plan C according to Michael Owen

And he seized his chance as Liverpool beat Leicester 3-1 in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, assisting Szobszlai for what was the second and the pick of the hosts' three goals.

"With all the understandable attention on Dominik's goal, the pass was as good," Klopp later reflected. "I didn't see any space between the two players.

'Passes we missed in the past'

"Dom told me later 'I hoped he'd see me.' Yeah, he saw you but then he still has to think if there's enough space for the ball between the players. That was a top, top pass, passes we missed in the past. That's the truth as well. He played so many forward balls, it was really good."

READ: Liverpool legend makes HUGE career decision amid Real Madrid, Barcelona links

While Endo will be delighted with the praise, Trent Alexander-Arnold and indeed Thiago Alcantara might take the comments as a slight, having previously been hailed as the pass-masters of Anfield.

While both were injured and therefore unable to partake in Wednesday's game, Trent has assisted 73 goals in all competitions in the Klopp era at Anfield, while Thiago's average of eight progressive passes per game over the last year put him in the 93rd percentile by that measure Europe-wide.

Alexander-Arnold is still guilty of a defensive blunder too many, but links with Barcelona this summer seemed wide of the mark with Thiago's former employers in financial dire straits.

Steven Gerrard's Al-Etifaq were linked with a move for Thiago, meanwhile, before turning their attentions to the club's captain Jordan Henderson instead.

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.