Midfield was always a concern at the dusk of last season, and that complemented by second to none outgoings meant Liverpool would have to bring an influx of top-notch players for the sake of having a balanced team going into the season. But the road to Wataru Endo wasn’t as easy, it was filled with the ups and downs of caicedos & lavias… which made it much more difficult – much like observing popular crypto bet platforms, something that effortlessly integrates different activities into the digital world of social networking sites.
Let’s get into it…
Failed Bids and Caicedo Rejection
Following the acquisition of the likes of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai before the pre-season started, it was expected that Liverpool would make a move for a DM now that both Fabinho and Henderson are gone. All football fans expected Liverpool to buy someone who will be their long-term number 6 as Thiago is very injury-prone and Bajcetic is still very inexperienced but much to everyone’s surprise Liverpool did not make a move.
In the past few weeks, Liverpool had multiple bids rejected for Romeo Lavia which made them go for Caicedo instead but it all ended horribly for the Reds as now both Lavia and Caicedo are set to join Chelsea. Desperate to sign a proper number 6 Liverpool’s Sporting Director Jörg Schmadtke has turned his eye towards his playground – the Bundesliga and signed Stuttgart Captain, 30-year-old Wataru Endo.
The Captain of the Japan National Team: Wataru Endo
The Japanese though unknown have nothing but praise sung by frequent Bundesliga watchers. The Kops are getting an experienced leader, something much needed following the experienced departures. Though not a long-term replacement, Wataru Endo can exactly be the player Liverpool needs right now.
Endo last season ranks 6th for duels won in the Bundesliga and is one of few players to make more than 200 successful tackles and win the ball back 400 times in the middle of the pitch. Only Joshua Kimmich has a better record head-to-head. Not only his defensive game but his attacking stats are great too, with only 4 players creating more chances than him in open play
A cult hero
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 18, 2023
Talking about Endo, the Japanese international did not have an easy way to the top. He helped Stuttgart gain promotion and also scored an all-important goal in the relegation playoffs to keep them in the first division.
Sven Mislintat, former director of Stuttgart also spoke in high praise of the player and described him as the focal point of the team.
Former German striker Mario Gomez has also commented about the honesty and integrity of Wataru Endo as a player and said he gives it his all on the pitch something Liverpool fans can relate to with the type of game former Reds Captain Jordan Henderson used to play.
Schmadtke explained this surprise move by saying that he knows the German market as he has operated there for several years before coming to Liverpool.
Meeting the Requirements?
Wataru Endo will be a very valuable addition to the current Liverpool team due to his ball-distributing abilities from the back and his knack for getting fouled often. He also poses a threat from indirect free kicks from which Liverpool has a good record of scoring goals. Some Bundesliga fans have said that he plays like Claude Makelele. Also, we shouldn’t forget the fact that Endo said it was his dream to play in England and with a big club like Liverpool coming in for him, this is surely like a dream come true for him.
As for Endo, currently, he easily slides into the Liverpool starting lineup where he can either play as a sole number 6, or a double pivot with Trent. Klopp can also deploy him in the midfield with him taking that LCB role when Robertson is offensively involved. Liverpool are also looking to buy another DM and a CB and so it remains to be seen whether Endo is the last player to sign for the Reds in this summer window.
Wataru Endó vs Bundesliga midfielders since the start of the 2020/21 season:
◉ Most possession won in defensive ⅓ (254)
◉ Most aerial duels won (219)
◉ Most clearances (175)
◉ Most headed clearances (105)
◎ Second-most touches (6511)
◎ Second-most passes completed (3940)… pic.twitter.com/Dtc2TUGF5R
— Squawka (@Squawka) August 16, 2023