Who is Wataru Endo? Age, career statistics & latest on £16m Liverpool move

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The Stuttgart midfielder has reportedly agreed a move to join Liverpool, but who is he?

Liverpool have reportedly moved quickly to agree a deal with Bundesliga side Stuttgart for midfielder Wataru Endo.

In what is an outside choice, the 29-year-old has been identified by Liverpool temporary sporting director, Jorg Schmadtke, as a replacement for the midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and James Milner who all left this summer.

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After failing to secure the signings of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, the Reds were left scrambling around for a new target, but no one saw this coming.

LiverpoolWorld has decided to explore the Japanese international and break down who he is, his career to date and just exactly why Liverpool are so focused on completing this deal.

Who is Wataru Endo?

Endo is an experienced midfielder having played in Japan, Belgium and Germany and has totalled 439 games during his senior career to date.

He only moved to the Bundesliga in 2020 and he was signed for a fee around £1.5m after impressing in Belgium at Sint-Truiden. Since then, he’s gone onto make 133 appearances for the German club, scoring 15 times and assisting a further 12.

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Furthermore, he’s been a key figure in the Japanese national team, coming up through the ranks from the U19 side all the way up to currently captaining his country, having earned 50 caps since 2015. He is a key part of their run to the Last 16 of the 2022 World Cup.

Now he’s set to make a £16m switch to Liverpool, with the club currently in advanced talks.

Why have Liverpool moved for Endo?

After missing out on Caicedo and Lavia, they needed to sign a midfield workhorse who had the all-action, high-energy style that Klopp requires from his central midfielders.

Despite the market in the Premier League offering various talented midfielders, many of them are high in price, meaning Endo is a more attractive, low-cost option that makes sense right now.

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Furthermore, he would be the second captain that Liverpool have signed this summer alongside Dominik Szoboszlai, meaning Klopp now has a high number of national captains in his starting eleven, allowing for leaders all over the pitch.

How does he fit into Klopp’s side?

Typically based deep in midfield, and sometimes at centre-back, Endo is an industrious midfielder who can be likened to the likes of Milner and Henderson, rather than Fabinho.

Klopp is looking for someone to play in the deepest role in midfield, which will allow the likes of Alexis Mac Allister to move slightly further forward into a more natural position, as well as giving his side more protection and balance as a whole.

Surprisingly, he’s managed two goals and two assists in his last three competitive matches and is someone who can join attacks as well as break-up play.

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But fans will be excited by the prospect of signing a player who has won possession the most in the defensive third (254) when compared to all Bundesliga midfielders since 2020 - and he looks to be a smart, calculated signing that will only improve their current side.

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