From Stuttgart to Anfield: Endo’s Whirlwind Week
In the bustling world of football, few weeks come as whirlwind as the one Wataru Endo recently experienced. Hailing from the vibrant city of Stuttgart, he swiftly moved into Liverpool’s alluring embrace. But this wasn’t the pathway he or anyone else saw coming.
The Unexpected Pivot to Liverpool
Endo sat comfortably, eyeing Liverpool’s apparent chase for a new No. 6, convinced that Moises Caicedo was the chosen one, with a staggering £111m handshake with Brighton. Speaking to The Athletic the Japanese midfielder shared his experience of the last couple of weeks.
“I thought Caicedo had gone to Liverpool! So when I heard he went to Chelsea I just thought ‘maybe’,” Endo laughed, recalling his surprise. With icons like Henderson and Fabinho setting sail, he sensed an opening, albeit unexpected.
While Liverpool’s penchant for young stars is clear, Endo humbly remarked, “This is the only chance you can get to move to Liverpool because they usually try to get younger players.” But here he was, seizing his golden opportunity.
A Surprise Call Changes Everything
While gearing up for Stuttgart’s big Bundesliga game against Bochum, his agent’s call flipped the script. A mere three days was all it took to transition from Bundesliga to Premier League aspirations.
“My agent called me and I had to decide quickly. The Premier League was always my dream,” he confessed. Dreams of playing at the famed Anfield with its roaring crowd took precedence. Despite only having a single training session, his rich experience guided him, teaching him to embrace the unforeseen.
Taking Advice from Familiar Faces
Endo sought wisdom from some familiar names – former Liverpool player Takumi Minamino and Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu.
“Yesterday I talked with Taki about how the team is. And also Tomiyasu about how the Premier League is, things like that,” he shared, shedding light on his prep for the game.
Anfield: The Dream Stage
Coming off the bench in a thrilling match against Bournemouth, the Liverpool faithful already chanting his name left him awestruck. “They made such a special atmosphere and I so happy to play at Anfield,” Endo enthused.
As for the match itself? “The manager just told me to play like I did in the Bundesliga,” he divulged. But, he quickly acknowledged the step up, noting the Premier League’s strength, pace, and the need for quicker decisions.
The physical demands? A touch more intense than his previous stint in Germany. “Here I will have to play more one touch football for example. I need to change the mindset, and adapt to play as a No 6 here,” he mentioned, understanding the adjustments required for his new role.
Endo’s New Chapter
Embracing the English game, Endo’s journey is a testament to unpredictability in football. From Stuttgart’s fields to the chants of Anfield, it’s been a journey full of twists, turns and new learnings.
With each day, he commits to evolving, saying, “I need to keep working hard. I need time to do it better and adapt to the physicality but for me it is a great step I think.”