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Wataru Endo to Liverpool: Stuttgart’s Japanese midfielder has all-round sport and is an instance to different gamers | Soccer Information

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The circumstances behind a near £16m signing of Wataru Endo may need some Liverpool supporters involved. The failed pursuits of each Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia have left Jurgen Klopp wanting choices in midfield and turning to the 30-year-old Endo might be seen as a desperation transfer.

Stuttgart’s captain will not be a younger expertise to excite within the mould of these different names. However given the departures of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner, this acquisition may be one of many smarter bits of enterprise that Liverpool might have completed.

He’s a dependable performer, who might be decided to grab this chance, an professional within the holding position who can contribute to each the defensive and offensive section of the sport. There are not any query marks over his character – simply ask those that know him.

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The Occasions’ Tom Roddy on what Liverpool’s transfer to signal Wataru Endo tells us

‘He’s a very nice participant’

It was the ultimate query for Bundesliga legend Mario Gomez as he sat down with a bunch of worldwide journalists on the Allianz Enviornment on Saturday night. Japanese reporter Daisuke Ishii requested about Endo, the previous striker’s {old} team-mate at Stuttgart.

Gomez had already mentioned every part from Germany’s issues to his personal Spanish roots, however his eyes lit up on the point out of Endo. “I really like Wataru, to be sincere.” It was he who had pushed for the participant’s inclusion when each discovered themselves out of the group.

“Wataru sat subsequent to me within the dressing room and had a very arduous time as a result of the coach didn’t use him initially.” In 2020, Gomez was within the ultimate season of his profession and had adjusted to his personal scenario, a mentor to the squad. “I used to be proud of this position.”

Endo, in his prime, was extra pissed off. “I used to be all the time telling him simply to maintain calm, maintain doing what he was doing as a result of he did wonderful in coaching.” So wonderful, in actual fact, that it grew to become a working theme of the periods than Gomez would pair up with Endo.

“After the sport we had the 4 towards 4,” Gomez explains. “Once I got here into the dressing room, I used to be all the time telling the coach to place me in the identical group as Wataru as a result of then we’ll by no means lose. That is the way it began. I used to be simply pushing him quite a bit.

“At a sure level, the coach used him. After which it isn’t me, it’s concerning the participant, as a result of he performed improbable. That’s the reason he’s taking part in not as a result of I informed the coach that he’s nice. It’s as a result of he’s a very nice participant. Now, he’s the captain of his group.”

Mario Gomez of VfB Stuttgart and Wataru Endo of VfB Stuttgart warms up during the VfB Stuttgart winter training camp on January 11, 2020 in Marbella, Spain.
Picture:
Mario Gomez pictured coaching with Wataru Endo for Stuttgart in 2020

Gomez regards Endo as an “instance of how group sport ought to look” due to his perspective – somebody who’s “all the time giving every part for the group”. He admires his serenity in coping along with his younger kids. “I’ve three and I’m struggling. He’s simply by no means burdened.”

However simply as his performances in these four-against-four video games in coaching would recommend, that is about greater than his good character, extra even than the flexibility that might see him fill in on the again in addition to in midfield for Liverpool. Endo has the standard to succeed too.

Wataru Endo's heatmap and passing sonar for Japan at the 2022 World Cup
Picture:
Wataru Endo’s heatmap and passing sonar for Japan on the 2022 World Cup

Endo’s spectacular statistics

Klopp will relish his combative method. This can be a participant who ranked sixth final season for duels gained within the Bundesliga. Previously three seasons, he’s one among solely three gamers to make 200 tackles, one among solely two to win the ball again 400 instances in the course of the pitch.

Having deployed Alexis Mac Allister in that deeper position on the opening weekend and missed out on each Caicedo and Lavia to Chelsea, Liverpool’s want for a defensive-minded midfielder is apparent. Endo has proven in his lengthy profession that he can do this job.

Wataru Endo's stats for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga last season

What makes him a very fascinating proposition, maybe what persuaded Klopp to make the transfer, is that his in-possession sport is sweet sufficient to thrive within the Premier League too. Like these different targets, Endo might be far more than a mere destroyer.

Wataru Endo's attacking stats for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga last season

His passing statistics are stable and there may be creativity there too. Remarkably, there have been solely 4 gamers – Jamal Musiala, Dominik Szoboszlai, Moussa Diaby and Raphael Guerreiro – who created extra probabilities from open play than Endo within the Bundesliga final season.

He can get ahead to press and to cross, important even for the extra defensive gamers in a Klopp group. Endo gained the ball again 22 instances within the ultimate third final season and scored twice from Stuttgart counter-attacks. He even scored three targets from exterior the field.

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Watch Wataru Endo’s glorious objective to complete a counter-attack towards Mainz final season

That he ranks so extremely on so many metrics owes a lot to the truth that he has been a digital ever-present for his membership since Gomez made his case again in 2020. In actual fact, no participant within the Bundesliga has began extra video games than Endo over the previous three seasons.

However then that’s the kind of robustness that Klopp would require, significantly after being burned by the Arthur Melo expertise – not the identify of a jazz band however the injury-prone Brazilian loaned from Juventus final season who didn’t play a Premier League minute.

Endo is a safer guess. And if he does discover himself kicking his heels instead, the message to his new Liverpool team-mates might be clear. Simply ensure he’s first decide for that small-sided sport in coaching afterwards. He is not going to keep on the bench for lengthy.



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