Liverpool want to sign Stuttgart captain Wataru Endu as the club seeks to bring the player Jurgen Klopp has been looking for
Liverpool are poised to tackle their apparent defensive midfield problem with a surprise purchase of a 30-year-old.
The Reds have sealed a deal for Wataru Endo of Stuttgart, going against the club’s well-established transfer market goal of choosing younger players to develop and increase in value.
For a cost that is anticipated to be about £20 million plus add-ons for Stuttgart’s most crucial player last season, he has come to Merseyside to settle the terms of his contract with the English club and to pass a medical, which is anticipated to take place on Thursday.
The Japan international, who is recognized for his defensive work in midfield and can also play in central defense, has spent the majority of his career in Japan, only moving to Europe in 2018 with modest Belgian team Sint Truiden.
The Liverpool sports director Jorg Schmadtke, who has significant ties to the Bundesliga as a manager or Director of Football with seven prior clubs, has noticed his performances for Stuttgart since moving to Germany in 2019.
In order to help the team get back into the Bundesliga, Endo joined Stuttgart on loan in 2019. In his first season in the German top division, he topped the league rankings for most challenges with nearly 500 in just 30 games.
He is among the least acknowledged players in the Bundesliga, according to Schmadtke, who also cited his extraordinary numbers for passing ability, distance covered, and, most importantly, challenges and interceptions, which are among the best in German football.
He can also play in center defense, which can assist manager Jurgen Klopp mix his resources with a protracted Europa League campaign scheduled this season.
Stuttgart are hesitant to lose their captain and best player, who held them up in a tough relegation battle last season, but he has a year left on his contract and they believe they must cash in.
Endo’s signing contradicts Liverpool’s professed objective of buying young, which led them to bid £110 million for 21-year-old Moises Caicedo and more than £50 million for 19-year-old Romeo Lavia.