Wataru Endo Liverpool transfer: How could the Reds could line up with the midfielder?

Wataru Endo Liverpool transfer: How could the Reds could line up with the midfielder?

Liverpool are inching closer to the surprise capture of Stuttgart captain Wataru Endo in a deal that is likely to cost the Merseysiders approximately €18m (£15.4m) and while the move has raised eyebrows in certain quarters, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the 30-year-old could be a good fit at Anfield.

Much to their mortification, the Reds have been rejected by a series of higher-profile targets in midfield earlier this summer, forcing Jurgen Klopp and his recruitment team into some more creative thinking in the club’s bid to find new recruits.

With Pool’s new sporting director Jörg Schmadtke, who was appointed in May, leading the chase, Wataru Endo was identified as a possible solution to Liverpool’s midfield conundrum and the Premier League giants moved swiftly overnight to wrap up the transfer.

Endo is due to have a medical on Thursday before signing on the dotted line, but where might the Japanese international fit in at Liverpool?

Wataru Endo to add bite to Liverpool’s midfield?

When Liverpool drew 1-1 at Chelsea on the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign, they seemed to lose their way after a promising start at Stamford Bridge and the lack of ball-winning power in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield seemed to contribute to their loss of control.

With the harrying and tackling abilities of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho now departed, the Reds have far more silk than steel in central areas – a problem that Klopp has been trying his best to address.

Moves for two highly-rated holding midfielders, Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, failed to materialise, though Wataru Endo could help to add more protection to the Reds’ overexposed defence.

Last season, the 30-year-old averaged 2.1 tackles per game in the Bundesliga, which compares favourably to ex-Liverpool favourite Fabinho’s output of 1.8 per 90 in the Premier League, while Endo also measured up well to the Brazilian in terms of fouls (1.2 to 1.5 per game), a metric commonly associated with midfield destroyers of merit.

While it’s unclear as to whether Endo will be an immediate first choice at Anfield, the Japanese star has the skill set to replace some of the doggedness Liverpool have lost in midfield.

Endo could operate comfortably as the deepest midfield in Jurgen Klopp’s central trio, with fellow summer signings Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister pushed a little further forward.

Wataru Endo Liverpool transfer: How could the Reds could line up with the midfielder?

Liverpool eyeing up more midfield additions?

Wataru Endo isn’t the last midfielder expected through the door at Anfield before the transfer window slams shut, however.

Fresh speculation today has linked Liverpool with moves for Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat, Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Manu Kone.

Kone in particular, would be the kind of archetypal disruptor in midfield that Jurgen Klopp so visibly craves, though his arrival from Die Fohlen would almost certainly push Wataru Endo into more of a rotational role on Merseyside.

With so many moving pieces, the make-up of Liverpool’s midfield could look very different by September 1st, though Wataru Endo has the tenacity to provide a very useful solution for Liverpool if offered the opportunity to impress.