Fabinho left for Saudi Arabia, and at the same time Jordan Henderson, who can also play at the bottom of midfield, moved to the Middle East. As a result, the only defensive midfielder left was 18-year-old midfielder Stefan Bajcetic, and Liverpool worked to strengthen that position.
Liverpool’s battle with Chelsea also left them in a tight spot, missing out on both Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, and they bent their reinforcement policy to bring 30-year-old Japanese midfielder Wataru Endo into the team.
In recent years, only former Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcántara has joined the club as a field player around the age of 30.
While Crystal Palace midfielder Cheick Doucouré and other defensive midfielders in their early 20s were also thought to be in the mix, The Athletic’s James Pearce dismissed the possibility. Endo and Bajcetic are believed to be enough to fill the bottom of the midfield, and there are no plans to acquire an anchor man.
“As things stand, Liverpool don’t intend to recruit another specialist No 6 this summer – another sign of how highly Klopp regards Endo. He’s been bought to start matches.”
“With Stefan Bajcetic returning to the matchday squad on Saturday after five months out injured, the teenager is viewed as a suitable alternative in that role.”
The fact that Jurgen Klopp holds the Japanese captain in high regard is gratifying, but from a layman’s point of view, another piece of reinforcement is in order to fight through the long season.
In pre-season, Curtis Jones played in the same position, and since the start of the Premier League season, Alexis Mac Allister has played at the bottom of midfield.
The team has calculated that even if Endo and Bajcetic are out injured, other players can fill in. Also, with the transfer deadline looming, it must be difficult to secure the desired defensive midfielder.
Still, it is the feeling of the supporters that they want more reinforcements.
Will Liverpool really end up without a player who specializes in winning the ball?