fB Stuttgart trainer Sebastian Hoeneß spoke on the impending departure of captain Wataru Endo for the first time at a Thursday presser.
"I'm not thrilled," Hoeneß said, "We can't replace him directly. We will miss him. We'll have to nevertheless do our best in the short term. We're working hard to be in a better position once the transfer window closes. We'll need to strengthen ourselves for the long haul."
Hoeneß noted that he "had some ideas in his head" about how to replace Endo this weekend in the season-opener against Bochum on Saturday, but wished to play matters close to the vest. The VfB gaffer tapped veteran defender Waldemar Anton as the "logical choice" to inherit the armband; at least on a temporary basis.
When it came to how the last-minute transfer unfolded, Hoeneß admitted that there wasn't much of anything he or the club could do. The recently bright prospects for the Swabians cannot help but be darkened by this development. The team's trainer nevertheless conceded all he could do was "unenthusiastically" accept his fate.
"You have to look at the whole thing in a certain way," Hoeneß said, "We have a player who, at the age of 30, has the opportunity to move to Liverpool in the Premier League and fulfill his dream. There was relatively little room to make an impact or change anything from my side."