Friday, September 29, 2023

Stuttgart Midfielder Debuts For Liverpool : What Role Will He Play In Klopp’s System?

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According to Liverpool Echo, following unsuccessful attempts to acquire Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, who both ended up at Chelsea, the Reds completed the signing of Wataru Endo before the clash against Bournemouth last weekend.

Owen Hargreaves, a former Manchester United midfielder, considers Liverpool’s acquisition of Endo for £16 million as a real bargain. The Japanese midfielder has secured a four-year contract with the Reds after his move from Stuttgart, significantly reinforcing the defensive midfield position for Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Who Is Wataru Endo?

At the age of 30, Endo presents an unconventional choice for the Reds, having participated in only three seasons within well-established major leagues. The Japanese national has a history with Shonan Bellmare and Urawa Red Diamonds in the J League, achieving victory in the AFC Champions League with the latter in 2017.

The subsequent year marked his transition to European football with Sint-Truiden in Belgium, followed by a loan move to Stuttgart in 2019. Through his contributions, he played a pivotal role in Stuttgart’s promotion back to the Bundesliga, eventually securing a permanent contract.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 19: Wataru Endo of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on August 19, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Over the span of three seasons in the upper echelon of German football, Endo has notched 12 goals and provided 11 assists, even netting a goal in last season’s relegation play-off. While traditionally occupying a deeper midfield role, Endo also exhibits versatility as a potential center-back option.

What Will He Bring To Liverpool?

Wataru Endo’s transfer to Liverpool is a major coup for the club. He is a very talented defensive midfielder who is known for his ball-winning skills, his passing range, and his ability to read the game. He is also a good leader and has captained Japan at the international level.

Endo’s arrival will give the Reds more options in midfield. He can play as a defensive midfielder, a box-to-box midfielder, or even as a centre-back. This will give Jurgen Klopp more flexibility in his team selection and will help to improve the balance of the midfield.

Endo is also a very experienced player. He has played in the Bundesliga for the past three seasons, and he has also played in the Champions League. This experience will be invaluable to the Merseysiders, as they will be looking to challenge for the Premier League title and the Champions League next season.

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