Wataru Endo admitted some disappointment at needing to leave Liverpool for international duty amid his good form, but promised to continue improving when he returns.
The Japan captain shone once again from the base of midfield as the Reds ran out 4-2 winners against Newcastle on Monday night, in what was the midfielder's final club appearance for some time.
Endo will now link up with his Japan teammates for the Asian Cup in Qatar this month, which runs between 12 January and 10 February.
During an interview with LFCTV after the game, Endo was asked whether he felt any disappointment at leaving the table-topping Reds amid their – and his own – good form.
“Yeah a little bit, but of course, I need to play for the national team as well,” he replied.
“I have to leave, but these last few games I played for this club I showed why I’m here, so I will go to Qatar, get a good result and then come back.”
A surprise summer signing from Stuttgart, Endo's arrival was initially criticised by some as underwhelming following the high-profile transfer failures surrounding Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, while the 30-year-old's game time was limited during his first months at the club.
However, he has since come into his own during the festive period, even becoming the first Liverpool player to start five games in just 13 days in nearly 20 years, after Alexis Mac Allister was struck down with injury.
“I played my first ever game in Newcastle and I need to show I’m improving every game,” he added.
“I’m so happy to get this result and I’ll do my best.”
Depending on the progression of Endo's Japan at the Asian Games, the no. 3 could miss up to eight games for Liverpool during January and February.