Liverpool have surprised the footballing world as they have secured the services of 30-year old Japan international Wataru Endo from Stuttgart. He is the captain of both club and country which is a nice sign of his qualities.
The €18 million fee is a far cry from the monumental amounts the Reds were willing to dish out for Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, so this move feels like a rebound of sorts.
At his age, he does not fit the typical Liverpool transfer prototype. It’s unclear if this move could be considered part of the rebuild or simply a knee-jerk reaction to missing out on their top targets in recent days.
Jorg Schmadtke has clearly utilized his contacts in Germany to secure this move as Endo was rated as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Bundesliga last season.
Per German magazine “Kicker”, Endo was rated as one of six defensive midfielders to be considered “international class” in the German top flight.
It is very likely he will be a solid contributor at Anfield. However, this is a massive step up for his career as Stuttgart had been the peak of his career to this point.
Endo has previously had 2 stops in Japan and a stint in Belgium before making his mark at Stuttgart. He has also been capped 50 times at the international level.
If this is the beginning of a few new arrivals for the Reds, it will be a strong move. If he is expected to be the long-term savior in the midfield, we might have a problem. Liverpool should still be in for another midfielder this summer.
Endo’s positional versatility as he can also play center-back, is a plus for a Jurgen Klopp side. The very nominal fee suggests there should be more moves on the horizon.
However, the last week or so has taught us to expect the unexpected, just as this signing came from nowhere.
At the end of the day, Liverpool have secured a defensive midfield option that they have been craving for months. It was not one their top choices, but he is a proven leader at the highest levels.
He’ll get his chance to prove his worth on the biggest stage of his club career.