Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, the main midfielders who anchored the team until last season, left unexpectedly. Both chose Saudi Arabia as their new home, and Liverpool needed to acquire a defensive midfielder.
Liverpool succeeded in acquiring Argentine midfielder Alexis Mac Allister early in the transfer window, but struggled to secure a player whose primary role was at the bottom of midfield.
We made the highest offer in the Premier League for Moises Caicedo, an Ecuadorian midfielder who was at Brighton at the time.
Meanwhile, we were also keen on former Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, but both of them decided to move to Chelsea. In the end, Liverpool paid only one-sixth of the fee offered to Caicedo for Japanese midfielder Wataru Endo.
Although he did not adapt to the Premier League and Klopp’s style of soccer immediately after joining the club, he has matured to the point where it is no surprise that he is now a first-team selection.
Looking back on last summer’s reinforcements in the midfield, Klopp said that it was a happy summer, in which he achieved everything he wanted to.
“We were interested in (Jude) Bellingham, then realised it would not happen as we’d have no money for anything else. Then all of a sudden the whole market for number sixes went up. We had our situation with two sixes left the club. The market heated up.”
“Then we thought maybe we could do Caicedo. We’d already done (Alexis) Mac Allister before. So we went in, but he had an emotional agreement already with Chelsea and Pochettino. All fine, so that’s it. Then Lavia had his own reasons, and we were there.”
“Then we found our top solution. That’s what I meant (when I said) ‘we are lucky’. We found Wataru. All the time in our mind we had still Stefan (Bajcetic). It was not clear at that moment he was that badly injured that he could not feature at all. We already in our mind that Macca could play the position as well.”
“Then we started all the other things. Dom (Szoboszlai) was always on my radar. If one of the £100m (deals) would have worked, there’s no chance to do another (transfer). So that door was open. That’s how it went. That’s what I meant when I said we were so lucky. A few things were decided without us. Everything we wanted to do in the ‘if not’ scenario worked out, and we were really happy.”