Liverpool FC’s recent acquisition of 30-year-old midfielder Wataru Endo has sparked intrigue within football circles. Despite veering from their usual strategy of nurturing young talents, Jurgen Klopp and director of football Jorg Schmadtke seem confident that Endo’s unique attributes will prove a valuable addition to the squad.
The Unconventional Choice:
While Liverpool’s pursuit of young talents like Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia dominated headlines, the decision to bring in Endo raised eyebrows. Klopp’s associates from his time at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund lent their support, praising the move as a masterstroke.
Versatility and Reliability:
Endo’s versatility is a key selling point. Not confined to a single role, he can adeptly play as a full-back or centre-back, enhancing the team’s tactical flexibility. His impeccable injury record addresses a concern Liverpool has faced recently, offering a dependable presence on the field.
Endo’s leadership skills are highlighted by his role as Japan’s national team captain. This addition brings Liverpool’s tally of official national team captains to five, a testament to the team’s caliber.
Stats and Performance:
Endo’s Bundesliga track record underscores his proficiency. Leading in categories such as possessions won in the defensive third, aerial duels, clearances, and headed clearances since his first Bundesliga season, he exemplifies defensive prowess. His ball control and possession retention further solidify his role.
Endo’s Consistency and Availability:
Having missed only two matches for Stuttgart in recent seasons—one due to Covid and the other due to concussion protocols—Endo’s availability augments Liverpool’s depth.
Strengthened Negotiating Position:
With Endo’s signing, Liverpool’s bargaining position has improved. The acquisition diminishes the perception of desperation in the transfer market, bolstering the team’s position in ongoing negotiations.
Klopp’s belief in Endo’s potential led to his endorsement of the transfer. The manager’s comprehensive assessment over a significant period of time affirmed the decision.
A New Era:
While Endo’s signing may not be met with immediate fanfare, Klopp predicts that Liverpool supporters will soon appreciate his dedication and impact on the pitch. Drawing parallels to the signing of James Milner, Klopp emphasizes that players like Endo can transform the team despite joining later in their careers.
Conclusion: A Fit for the Future:
Liverpool’s unexpected move to bring in Wataru Endo marks a departure from their typical transfer strategy. Endo’s versatility, reliability, leadership, and consistent performance make him an intriguing asset to the team. As he dons the Liverpool jersey, his on-pitch dedication is set to earn him a place in the hearts of fans, aligning perfectly with Klopp’s vision for the squad’s evolution.