Liverpool have reached an agreement with Stuttgart to sign the Japanese defensive midfielder Wataru Endo for €18m. He will fly to England on Thursday and complete his medical.
The Reds have quickly switched their focus to other midfield targets after being beaten to the signatures of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia by Chelsea. The abrupt departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to Saudi clubs have left the club wanting to add significantly more quality to the midfield before the end of the transfer window.
Wataru Endo, who is the captain of both Japan and Stuttgart, has reportedly already agreed personal terms with Liverpool. Once he completes the switch to Anfield, the 30-year-old will become Liverpool’s third signing of the summer transfer window after the arrivals of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai from Brighton and RB Leipzig, respectively.
Wataru Endo would be a stop-gap solution to Liverpool’s midfield conundrum
Liverpool’s search for a new holding midfielder to replace Fabinho has been nothing short of a disaster this summer, with Chelsea beating the Reds to their two preferred transfer targets—Caicedo and Lavia. Their lack of balance in midfield was well documented in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side cutting through Liverpool’s engine room on multiple times.
After missing out on Caicedo and Lavia, the Reds have plucked out Wataru Endo from Stuttgart. While highly rated in Germany, not many Liverpool fans would’ve been aware of Endo and had even considered him as a serious option to potentially replace Fabinho in their midfield ranks.
Endo ranks among the best defensive midfielders in the Bundesliga, and he will be expected to play a significant role for Jurgen Klopp’s side. The Japanese international isn’t the flashiest of players but he is likely to be bought with the sense of providing balance to Liverpool’s midfield, whilst providing license to the more attack-minded options of Mac Allister and Szoboszlai to create their magic in the final third.
At 30, however, Endo would arrive at Anfield as a stop-gap option solution to the Reds’ problems in the middle of the park. And one would imagine the Merseyside outfit to go for another player after the signing of Endo as there definitely seems to be space for additions in the squad.
If a young midfielder with potential does indeed follow Endo in joining Klopp’s squad, the latter deal now on the brink of completion, it would turn out to be a pretty solid transfer window for Liverpool in the end.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.