It would be easy to think that we have missed out by not signing Caicedo or Lavia but I would argue that the missing piece in our midfield is exactly shaped like Wataru Endo. We have lost Henderson, Fabinho, Milner and most likely Thiago and, having brought in MacAllister and Szoboszlai, what we really needed was a reliable, experienced holding midfielder.
Much in the mould of Mascherano, I honestly believe that the Reds faithful will be pleasantly surprised with what Endo offers. A player with 50 international caps and stats in a top league that any number six would be proud of Endo fills a gaping void left by those who have departed.
He has leadership qualities having captained Stuttgart and Japan, and brings a combative nature that offers as much going forward as he does defensively. In 99 Stuttgart appearances he has netted 12 times including the fourth and final goal in his last match for the club. He also has a couple of international goals for Japan, but let’s be honest, we are not bringing him in to boost our goal difference. From all reports of those who have worked and played with him before, we are getting a quality player who will provide the cover in front of the back four but also link defence and attack in moving forward.
One final thought of why Wataru could be the ideal fit is the price as well. If there is any manager in the world who can turn a bargain into a world beater, it’s Klopp. Time and time again he has proven that he can get the absolute best out of players. Mane, Firmino, Robertson and even Salah were all good players who became great under the German’s tutelage. So let’s get behind this move, Reds, and hopefully look forward to a great season. He has made his debut now and looked solid in what he did.