After missing Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, young midfielders with Premier League experience, Liverpool changed its reinforcement policy and acquired 30-year-old midfielder Wataru Endo, who was with Stuttgart at the time. Liverpool brought in a player who could fill the void left by Fabinho.
The Japanese midfielder, who was absolutely strong in defending against opponents in the Bundesliga, has not yet gained the trust of supporters in England, as he has not adapted to the intensity, speed, and power of the game, which are different from those in Germany.
He has often started in cup matches and Europa League games, and has performed well in some matches. On the other hand, he has been caught out in one-on-one situations and often loses physical battles. In the recent game against Toulouse, he played so poorly that he was cited as a culprit.
The team as a whole is slow and cannot be blamed solely on one person, but they are still adjusting to Klopp’s style of soccer. Jurgen Klopp defended the national team captain and said that even Andy Robertson, now a regular left back, struggled in his early days with the club.
“Wataru makes steps every day,”
“We had stories like this in the past. Andy Robertson didn’t play for half a year (after arriving from Hull City in 2017). Nobody can remember it now but it was like that. Other players had their struggles in the beginning.”
“It’s all fine. Wataru didn’t even struggle. He’s super important for us. He’s played a lot of games. But it’s ‘hey, he’s not starting in the Premier League’. It’s about rhythm. He will definitely start games in the Premier League. We need them all. You will see them all.”