Liverpool’s Man With The Mouthguard: Wataru Endo – Season Review 2023/24

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Wataru Endo’s First Season at Liverpool: A Mixed Bag

A surprise cult hero and it’s easy to see why reds love the man with the mouthguard. Liverpool’s acquisition of Wataru Endo was met with much shock, with fans eager to see how the Japanese midfielder would adapt to the rigours of the Premier League. Endo’s performance over the season has been a topic of much discussion, characterised by both highs and lows. Let’s delve into the numbers and moments that defined his first season at Anfield.

Headline Numbers

Endo’s overall statistics for the 2023/24 season provide a comprehensive view of his contributions across all competitions. He made a total of 43 appearances, accumulating 2,758 minutes on the pitch. His versatility was showcased as he played primarily as a defensive midfielder but also adapted to different roles when required. His goal tally stood at three, with one assist to his name, underscoring his occasional forays into attacking contributions. In the Premier League, Endo featured in 29 matches, amassing 1,720 minutes. He played nine times in the Europa League, contributing significantly with 587 minutes. Additionally, he made appearances in domestic cup competitions: four matches in the EFL Cup and one in the FA Cup, providing depth to Liverpool’s midfield throughout the season.

Photo: IMAGO

Biggest High

Endo’s standout performance came in Liverpool’s 5-1 thrashing of Toulouse in the Europa League, where he earned his highest rating of the season at 8.83 according to Whoscored.com. In this match, Endo was at his imperious best, controlling the midfield with his precise passing and robust tackling. His ability to break up play and launch counter-attacks was pivotal, earning him the Man of the Match accolade. This game showcased the potential impact he could have when fully settled into the team dynamics.

Biggest Low

Conversely, Endo’s lowest point came during the 2-0 defeat to Everton in the Premier League, where he received a disappointing rating of 5.78. This match highlighted some of the struggles he faced towards the end of the season, as his performances seemed to dip. In the Merseyside derby, Endo looked off the pace, struggling to cope with Everton’s high pressing and physicality. This game underscored the challenges he faced in adapting to the relentless intensity of English football.

Overall Thoughts

Endo’s first season at Liverpool has been a learning curve. The initial part of the season saw him grappling with the pace and physicality of the Premier League, leading to inconsistent performances. However, as the season progressed, there were glimpses of the player Liverpool hoped he would be. Post-Christmas, Endo began to find his feet, contributing more consistently to the team’s efforts. Despite these positives, there remains a general sentiment among fans that an upgrade might be necessary if Liverpool are to challenge on all fronts next season. Endo’s focus for the upcoming season should be on maintaining physical fitness and further acclimatising to the Premier League’s demands. It’s sad to say as for £16m the Japanese midfielder has more than pulled his weight, but most will be seeking an upgrade.

 
 
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