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Wataru Endo sad to be leaving Liverpool for Asian Cup


Liverpool midfielder Wataru Endo has admitted his sadness towards leaving Anfield to compete at the Asian Cup.

The Reds’ decision to spend £16m on 30-year-old Endo during the summer was met with significant confusion from many fans but, after a slow start, the Japan international has established himself as a key figure under Jurgen Klopp.

Endo started Liverpool’s last six Premier League games and undoubtedly won over his critics, but his momentum has now been brought to a halt as a result of his departure for the Asian Cup where, should Japan succeed, he could miss over a month of Premier League action.

“Of course I want to stay [at Liverpool] but as a national team player it is important for me as I am captain,” Endo said. “I am now focused on the national team and just doing my best.

“I want to have good results at the Asian Cup, but that’ll mean I have to stay longer in Qatar. But Macca [Alexis Mac Allister] has come back now, so I can just stay focused on the national team. I’m sure [Liverpool] will play well, 100%.

“I want to come back with the Asian Cup title. I’m confident Liverpool can do well in the absence of me and Mo [Salah].”

Wataru Endo

Endo enjoyed a superb December / Isosport/MB Media/GettyImages

On his integration to the squad, Endo thanked manager Jurgen Klopp and his teammates for helping fill him with confidence.

“It has been the toughest Christmas and New Year in my life but to play football is amazing so I’ve enjoyed it also,” he reflected. “It’s a very tough schedule but I needed to keep playing. Playing the games is the most important way for me to improve.

“We have so many injured players. I was thinking, ‘I am a very important player on the pitch’, so I needed to show why I came here.

“I think the team played well and I also played better than before and we are now top of the table so I feel I did my job. I feel like I’ve got to grips more with playing in England.

“Confidence is a big thing also. The manager has shown a lot of faith in me. The other players know me better now as well, that’s also important for me to play better.”

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