Reds’ Playful Welcoming Ritual for New Signing

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Van Dijk’s Warm Welcome for Endo at Liverpool Training

Liverpool’s towering defender, Virgil van Dijk, was in for a surprise during a recent training session. The scene? Wataru Endo, the club’s latest signing, in the midst of a head-tennis match.

Endo, who made his Liverpool debut just days ago, is already integrating with the squad. A recent training video from LFCTV showcased the 30-year-old Japanese international pairing up with Luis Diaz. Their opponents? None other than Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. As if the stakes weren’t high enough, Liverpool’s captain, Van Dijk, decided to join the audience.

However, things didn’t go as planned for Endo. A misjudged header intended for Diaz went astray, leading to a light-hearted moment. Van Dijk, with a chuckle, remarked, “What is this, Endo?”

Photo: IMAGO

Van Dijk’s Leadership Style

This wasn’t a critique from Van Dijk. Instead, it was a jovial gesture, indicative of the camaraderie within the squad. As the leader of the pack, Van Dijk’s presence might be daunting for newcomers like Endo. Yet, this incident paints a different picture of the Dutchman.

Unlike the stern leadership styles of Jordan Henderson or James Milner, Van Dijk exudes a calm aura. He’s the kind of leader who earns respect rather than imposing it. Whether it’s a conscious effort to make Endo feel welcome or just Van Dijk being himself, it’s evident that the Japanese international is in good company.

With such a warm reception, Endo is likely to feel more at ease as he prepares for the upcoming match against Newcastle.

Profile: Wataru Endō

Personal Details:

  • Full Name: Wataru Endō
  • Date of Birth: 9 February 1993
  • Position: Defensive Midfielder/Centre Back
  • Current Club: Liverpool, Premier League
  • Nationality: Japanese

Club Career:

  1. Shonan Bellmare:
    • Started his professional journey with Shonan Bellmare.
    • Played a pivotal role in promoting Shonan back to the J1 League in 2014.
    • Scored 23 goals in 167 appearances for the club.
  2. Urawa Red Diamonds:
    • Moved to Urawa Red Diamonds after impressive performances.
    • Won the 2016 J.League Cup and the 2017 AFC Champions League with the club.
    • Netted six goals in 109 appearances.
  3. Sint-Truiden:
    • Joined the Belgian Pro League team in 2018.
    • Scored two goals during his one-year stint.
  4. VfB Stuttgart:
    • Initially loaned to the German club in 2019.
    • Made the move permanent in 2020.
    • Played a crucial role in keeping Stuttgart in the Bundesliga during the 2022-23 season.
    • Scored 15 goals in 133 appearances for Stuttgart.

International Career:

  • Made his debut for Japan in 2015 during the EAFF East Asian Cup.
  • Represented Japan in the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.
  • As of August 2023, he has scored two international goals in 50 appearances.
  • Appointed as the captain of the Japan national team in June 2023.
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