Why one Liverpool man is now essential to the Liverpool squad

One Liverpool man has now mad himself a much-needed cog in the way Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool play football.

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Wataru Endo has been something of an under the cards signing for Liverpool this season.

After missing out on priority signings, Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia in summer, all hope felt loss in Liverpool’s quest for a defensive-midfielder.

However, Jurgen Klopp had one trick left up his sleeve in Endo. However, despite knowing the way the German works in the transfer market, some still branded the 30-year-old a ‘panic buy.

The Japan international has since proved the doubters wrong and has now made himself essential to the Reds’ squad.

His adjustment to the Premier League did take some time but as soon as he found his feet, he has been unstoppable.

Fellow summer signing, Alexis Mac Allister initially adopted the role of defensive-midfielder despite it not being his natural position.

However, since Endo has gotten more and more comfortable within the squad, he has taken up a more natural attacking role, especially due to the absence of Dominik Szoboszlai.

There is no doubt that the Japan internationals performances have helped the Reds get to the position they are now.

His defensive capabilities and passing range are two key parts of his game which make him an ideal fit for Klopp’s system.

The season of Wataru Endo in numbers

As aforementioned, Endo had a slow start to Premier League life with the midfielder even admitting “everything” is different when playing for Liverpool compared to his former club, Stuttgart.

Everything! Physically and [in terms of] speed, everything is different between the German league and the Premier League, in my opinion,” he said.

The German league, tactically they are very focused on details, but the Premier League is very tough and they always try to play forward.”

Despite the differences between the two leagues, the Japan international has settled comfortably in the team.

His first start for the team was far from ideal, as, half an hour into the game, Virgil Van Dijk was sent off. Despite not totally showing himself up, it looked as if he didn’t expect everything to be moving so quickly.

Since then, he has redeemed himself and has made a total of  27 appearances for Liverpool and has contributed to three goals.

A statistic also emerged on X yesterday which showed how vital Endo now is to the squad.

The user, did, however, later rectify that he removed games from his sample during which Endo only played 45 minutes.

However, even with these games omitted from the sample, the record is still fairly solid.

Additionally, according to Sofascore, he has managed to average a total of 1.3 tackles and recover 3.4 balls per Premier League game.

Although these statistics may not seem the best, when compared to Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa, the two aren’t that far apart.

Luiz averages a total of 1.9 tackles per game and manages to recover 5.9 balls. This season, the 25-year-old has been linked with a plethora of clubs, including Liverpool themselves.

However, with Endo already at the club, does Klopp really need him?

Especially due to the current form the 30-year-old finds himself in as he once again shone during the Anfield club’s most recent game against Luton.

Just how good was Endo’s performance against Luton?

Liverpool played against Luton in the Premier League on Wednesday and eventually managed to overcome The Hatters with a 4-1 win, that is despite being 1-0 down at the start of the second-half.

Anfield felt ‘flat’ in the first-half with fans even bemoaning a wayward pass from Harvey Elliott which resulted in a Klopp outburst.

However, when the Reds entered the pitch for the second-half things had changed.

Anfield was booming which resulted in Liverpool managing to bag four goals against Rob Edwards’ side.

Additionally, an inspired performance from Wataru Endo ensured that the side were defensively sound and didn’t leak any further goals.

This was proven by the stats shared online following the commencement of the match.

As per Sofascore, Endo’s pass accuracy of 94% was the highest of any player in yesterday’s game.

Although many may have been underwhelmed by the 30-year-old’s addition in summer, it now feels as if there is no game which Endo shouldn’t start.

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