New Liverpool signing Wataru Endo is not in Jurgen Klopp’s long-term thinking at Anfield.

The Reds surprised the football world by bringing Endo from Stuttgart earlier this week. 24 hours after signing, the 30-year-old has already made his Liverpool debut.

But according to Michael Owen for, Endo is nothing more than a ‘stop-gap’ solution for his old club.

Wataru Endo

“It remains to be seen whether he’s a good buy. I mean, he’s experienced, he’s 30 years of age,” began the pundit. “It’s not long-term thinking. They were going to spend over £100m on Caicedo let’s say, that would have been for a decade or so, nail down that position, that’s sorted, let’s move on.

“Whereas this one it’s almost like a stop-gap for maybe two or three years, until they find another one.”

Owen makes Endo prediction

Quite what the immediate future holds for Endo at Liverpool is unclear, let alone more long-term plans.

For the moment, the £16m man appears to be the Reds sole acquisition in defensive midfield. To all intents and purposes, he is – right now – their Fabinho replacement.

Unless anything happens in the transfer market over the next 11 days, that will remain the case.

Wataru Endo
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

There is the potential that something could happen for Liverpool, though. A move for Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure cannot be ruled out, while there may be something else brewing left-field, too.

But working with what they have now, Endo has the shirt.

If the Japan international does well, then there’s no reason he can’t stamp his authority as a starter for the Reds. He’s just signed a four-year contract. At 30, that’s no laughing matter.

Quite clearly, Klopp is counting on Endo for the fosterable future, as a squad player or a starter. If he’s a stop-gap or simply a depth-adder will be determined over the next couple of weeks.

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