Fan favourite tipped for SHOCK Liverpool exit after only one season

With Jurgen Klopp leaving Liverpool at the end of the season, and Feyenoord coach Arne Slot his likely replacement, there will no doubt be a shake-up of the playing squad in the summer. However, one departure few would have seen coming is that of Wataru Endo.

The Japan captain, who arrived from Stuttgart for £16 million only last year, has become a key player this season, making 41 appearances across all competitions and netting three goals.

In doing so, he's become something of a fan favourite, despite the underwhelming nature of his arrival after the Reds missed out on top targets Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia to Chelsea.

Endo has been invaluable to Klopp this season, but that hasn't stopped journalist Graeme Bailey from believing that a departure could be on the cards for the 31-year-old.

'Not a major shock'

Speaking to Rousing The Kop, Bailey suggested that the Japan international was purchased merely as a stop-gap solution and might now seek a return to the Bundesliga.

"I think if Endo moves back to Germany at some point, it wouldn't be a major shock," he said.

"He's come in and done a job. I think he's done a fine job, but you can see him going back to the Bundesliga for sure. He's not on huge money and they didn't pay an awful lot for him."

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool FC - Premier League Wataru Endo and Joe Gomez of Liverpool are celebrating after Darwin Nunez scores a goal to make it 0-1 during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool at the City Ground in Nottingham, on March 2, 2024. Nottingham Nottinghamshire United Kingdom PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRA Copyright: xMIxNewsx originalFilename:fletcher-nottingh240302_np2OQ.jpg

While departures for fellow veterans Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip are almost certain as their contracts reach their expiry date, the case for moving Endo on isn't as strong.

With Slot almost certain to come in, clearly, Endo isn't a long-term solution for the holding midfield role. That said, getting rid of a player just because of his age profile would perhaps make little sense, especially in a time of transition where the importance of experience cannot be overlooked.

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