AADAM PATEL: Wataru Endo has quietly become one of Liverpool's unsung heroes... after a difficult start to his Anfield career, the Japanese midfielder is determined to end Jurgen Klopp's reign on a high


Wataru Endo has turned into one of the unlikely heroes of Liverpool’s season.

After a shaky start following his arrival from the Bundesliga in the summer, he has become a regular in the Jurgen Klopp’s side, with Klopp regularly stating just how much of an impact he has made.

In the 11 Premier League games that he has started, Liverpool have won nine and drawn two and with an injury crisis at Anfield, the Japanese international looks set to feature in Sunday’s EFL Cup Final against Chelsea, where he insists that victory at Wembley would give Liverpool ‘extra energy for the challenges ahead.’

The 31-year-old initially struggled with the tempo of the Premier League but week by week, he has adapted and become somewhat of a talisman as Liverpool compete on all four fronts. He was voted Liverpool’s Player of the Month in December and Klopp even declared him as ‘one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met.’

Wataru Endo endured a difficult start to his Liverpool career, but has become a fan favourite

Wataru Endo endured a difficult start to his Liverpool career, but has become a fan favourite

In the 11 Premier League games Endo has started, Liverpool have won nine and drawn two

In the 11 Premier League games Endo has started, Liverpool have won nine and drawn two

‘It’s hard to play for Liverpool. There’s always a lot of pressure,’ Endo admitted. 

‘Playing in the Premier League is tough but it’s something I wanted for a long time and I try enjoy it and do my best every time. I feel like I’ve developed over the course of the season and that has helped to give me confidence.’

The midfielder has become a fan favourite on the Kop and also praised the Liverpool supporters for helping him settle.

‘They have been amazing to me. The atmosphere was crazy in the second half against Luton,’ he said. ‘It helps us so much as a team and I am happy to play with these fans behind us. They inspire us.’

Endo was at the Asian Cup with Japan in Qatar, when he discovered the news that Jurgen Klopp was stepping down at the end of the season and revealed that he is determined for Liverpool to win some silverware before Klopp departs.

‘I was sad to hear about that. I really enjoy playing for him and playing football the way he plays,’ said Endo. ‘It’s disappointing but I really want us to achieve titles for him before he goes. I’ve only played for Jurgen for one season. Others have been here a lot longer so maybe have more emotion but he has helped me so much.’

Such has been the spirit within the squad that Klopp went as far as comparing their 4-1 win over Luton on Wednesday with the famous Barcelona comeback win in 2019, given the similarities in terms of having a depleted squad.

‘We’ve lost a lot of players but the win against Luton showed that we still have a lot of good players available. You can see how we’re very much together as a team,’ said Endo.

The Japanese midfielder insisted he is determined to end Jurgen Klopp's reign with silverware

The Japanese midfielder insisted he is determined to end Jurgen Klopp’s reign with silverware

Endo, 30, also claimed the win over Luton outlined the togetherness of Liverpool's squad

Endo, 30, also claimed the win over Luton outlined the togetherness of Liverpool’s squad 

‘The manager has spoken to us about staying positive and needing to show that we are Liverpool. We did that against Luton. We don’t think too much about injured players, we just focus on the next game in front of us,’ he added.

That next game is at Wembley and Endo expressed his excitement as Liverpool look to win their tenth League Cup.

‘I’m so excited to play there. I heard that 90,000 people will be there to watch,’ he said. ‘It will be my first time at such a special stadium.’



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