‘Machine’ that can provide a wildcard fix to Van Dijk’s suspension has already been signed by Liverpool.

Liverpool could face a mini-crisis in defense for Saturday’s return to action at Wolves, but Jürgen Klopp may already have a solution ready to step into the fold.

Jürgen Klopp will be glad to see the back of the international break.

The Liverpool boss is notoriously not a fan of letting his players go away on duty for their respective countries, and on this occasion, you can certainly understand why.

Liverpool had been building some real momentum before having to pause after just four games.

The Reds’ best performance came just before the break as they made it three straight wins against Aston Villa, and Klopp will be hoping they can pick up where they left off against Wolves on Saturday.

But the Liverpool boss could be facing a bit of a headache with his side ahead of the trip to Molineux. Having lost Ibrahima Konaté to injury before the win at Newcastle, Virgil van Dijk then picked up a suspension which has now been extended, keeping him out of this weekend’s return to action.

What’s more, Trent Alexander-Arnold is an injury doubt after being forced off against Villa, and with Conor Bradley sidelined following a stress fracture in his back, the options in defense could be somewhat sparse this weekend.

Joe Gomez and Joël Matip could be the only senior center-backs available to face Wolves. Jarell Quansah has featured off the bench this season, and might be an option to enable Gomez to cover at right-back for Alexander-Arnold, but it would be a big ask for the 20-year-old to start having only made a couple of first-team appearances.

Similarly, the opportunity might come too soon for Stefan Bajčetić.

The youngster impressed during his run in Klopp’s side last season, but he’s yet to make an appearance for Liverpool this season since returning from injury.

The options therefore seem limited, and Klopp may have to think a little outside the box to find a solution.

One may lie in the form of one of his summer signings.

Wataru Endō hasn’t yet established himself at Anfield. His one start came at Newcastle, where he was brought off just before the hour mark, and his other two appearances have been cameos off the bench against Bournemouth and Villa.

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But having impressed for Japan in the 4-1 win over Germany at the weekend, he is firmly in the reckoning for Wolves, and the potential of a mini-crisis in defense might be his ticket into the side.

Endō’s forte is of course as a defensive midfielder, but he does have plenty of experience as a central defender. In fact, across the entirety of his career, he has made more appearances as a center-back than he has in midfield.

Granted, only two of the 239 games as a center-back listed on Transfermarkt came outside of Japan, with his last outing in the position coming in 2020 for Stuttgart, but given the predicament Liverpool potentially faces, the Reds might not be able to turn their nose up at that experience,

“Wataru is a really good player,” Klopp told the club’s official site after signing the 30-year-old.

“I know in this world of football how it goes and stuff like this, but have a look, have a look, because he’s a really good player. Experienced player, captain of Stuttgart, captain of Japan, speaks good English, nice fella, family man, machine on the pitch, good footballer on top of that, sensational attitude. So, I’m really happy. He’s a good footballer, very experienced and loves to work extremely hard.”

It must be said that it should only really be a last resort for Liverpool, and hopefully Alexander-Arnold will be in a position to return after pulling out of England duty.

But if not, Endō might well prove why signing a player of his experience, which raised a few eyebrows in the summer, could in fact prove to be an astute acquisition.

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