Diogo Jota has praised Wataru Endo for stepping into Liverpool’s midfield at short notice today.

Endo was cleared to make his debut for the Reds, having been unveiled as a new signing yesterday. Jurgen Klopp named the Japanese on the bench initially, but after Alexis Mac Allister’s harsh red card, the manager turned to Endo.

In the end, the 30-year-old was far outshone by another player making his Anfield debut – Dominik Szoboszlai. Asked about Szoboszlai by liverpoolfc.com after the game, Jota made sure to mention all three of the Reds’ summer additions.

Diogo Jota
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“Yeah, I think Macca as well [as Szoboszlai], now playing a bit deeper and trying to help us build. Dom, you can see he is running the entire game and doesn’t feel tired. I think they will both help us,” said the 26-year-old.

“And [Wataru] Endo as well, debut [in] hard circumstances and did it quite well. So, yeah, the more time we spend together we will get better and we can develop throughout the season.”

Endo makes his debut

With news that Curtis Jones has picked up a fresh injury coming out yesterday, Endo’s arrival has taken on even greater importance to Liverpool.

In terms of today’s clash with Bournemouth, that meant the Reds had only three available midfielders, excluding the Japan captain.

Thankfully, Endo’s work permit application came through in time. It would have been a little crazy for him to start the game having only arrived yesterday, but it was welcome to see him on the bench.

Diogo Jota
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Whether Klopp initially planned on bringing him on at all, we’ll probably never know. But after Mac Allister’s sending off, it became clear that Endo would be needed.

His arrival onto the pitch with around half an hour remaining capped off a whirlwind few days for player and supporters.

Just three days ago, plenty of Liverpool fans would never have heard of their new No.3. Let alone expect to see him on the pitch for them days later. And yet, here we are.

Endo didn’t look completely at home when coming on. But then again, he likely hasn’t even trained with his new teammates just yet. They were also down to 10 men and playing an unfamiliar shape. Thrown in under those testing conditions, Endo did just fine. Much more to come.

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