Liverpool have completed surprise transfer for player outshining Alexis Mac Allister and Harvey Elliott

The £16m signing has recorded three goal contributions so far for Liverpool.
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There must have been a significant number of furrowed brows pulled when it was clear who Jurgen Klopp thought could be his Liverpool game-changer with seven minutes remaining.

After Bobby De Cordova-Reid had towered over Kostas Tsimikas to give Fulham a 3-2 lead at Anfield, it was evident a change of personnel was required. Up to that moment, Klopp's double switch to introduce Joe Gomez and Cody Gakpo and Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai had not worked. If anything, Liverpool lost impetus.

If the bookmakers had been taking bets on who would be next to come off the bench and make the impact required to ensure a sobering maiden loss at Anfield in the season was avoided, having led twice in the game already, there would have been a clear favourite. Harvey Elliott has been a magnificent impact player this campaign and there was clamour from sections of supporters to bring him on.

Others may have felt Curtis Jones could be the player to unpick the Cottagers. There might have even been a few calls for mercurial teenager Ben Doak to be unleashed given his impressive cameos during his fledgling Liverpool career.

However, the trio were eschewed. Surplus to requirements. Instead, Klopp plucked for a 30-year-old defensive midfielder in Wataru Endo. A shock decision, no doubt. Endo had been signed from Stuttgart as Fabinho's replacement, with his remit to be a destroyer in the engine room protecting the defence.

And not too many could have foreseen Endo curling home the equaliser only three minutes after his introduction. The Japan international found the top corner with the precision you'd expect from an elite marksman. Just a minute later, Trent Alexander-Arnold notched the winner with another sublime finish to send Kopites into raptures.

Indeed, it's been a curious start to life as a Liverpool player for Endo. So far, he's been overlooked to fulfil the number-six role in the Premier League, with Alexis Mac Allister the preferred option. That's despite Mac Allister thriving as an attacking midfielder for Brighton before his £35 million move. As a consequence, Endo has been limited to only two league starts. He continues to acclimatise to life under Klopp like so many signings before him. Fabinho took a while to settle down as did the likes of Andy Robertson and Darwin Nunez.

But Endo is displaying an attribute scarcely anyone could have expected based on his profile - goal contributions. His strike against Fulham was the second time he's bagged for Liverpool after netting a header in the 5-1 Europa League victory over Toulouse. Endo also has an assist to his name when he showed excellent vision to find Dominik Szoboszlai in a 2-1 triumph against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.

Despite playing 500 minutes fewer than Mac Allister in all competitions, they have the same number of goal contributions while Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch have only one more respectively. Meanwhile, Elliott and Jones have only one each.

Down the line, Endo's role once he settles in further at Liverpool may be to police the middle of the park and snuff out the danger that earned Fabinho the nickname of the 'Lighthouse'. But for now, he is proving his worth at the opposite end of the pitch.

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