Liverpool star admits he feared Chelsea man had blocked his dream move

Wataru Endo's journey to Liverpool wasn't exactly straightforward. The Reds broke the mould when they signed the then 30-year-old in a shock £16.2m switch from VfB Stuttgart last summer.

In an interview with Japanese streaming service Abema, the holding midfielder spoke about his surprise move and opened up on his fears that it wouldn't come to fruition.

"I thought [Mosies] Caicedo would sign [for Liverpool]," he admitted. "I remember seeing in the news that a deal was close. I thought that I'd lose out. In the end, he went to Chelsea."

Despite initial links to Liverpool, Endo only found himself signing for the Merseyside club after they missed out on their primary targets, including Caicedo, Romeo Lavia and Andre Trindade.

The midfielder knows this, too. "A player like me only gets an opportunity in a situation like this," he said, admitting: "The ideal situation would be to get a hold of young, talented players. But not every club can sign their ideal target."

"So the plan B would be to sign an older, experienced player. Someone who can be immediately effective. Liverpool were looking for that in signing me."

Key component

Endo certainly has been effective since joining Liverpool. Despite the initial scepticism surrounding his arrival, Endo has silenced doubters with his performances on the field.

In fact, the 31-year-old has become a firm favourite among Liverpool fans, and has even earned himself a song.

With 33 appearances for the club already under his belt, Endo recently tasted success with the Reds, clinching his first trophy in the League Cup final against Chelsea, where he won his personal duel with Caicedo himself.

An inkling

"I feel like I've been waiting for this chance my whole life," said Endo, who has always dreamed of playing in the Premier League.

The Japan captain said he had an inkling a move could be on the cards when the Reds began embarking on their midfield overhaul at the end of last season.

"If I were to get a chance [to play in England]," he said, "I had a feeling it would be for Liverpool because they had many outbound players... Henderson, Fabinho, both midfielders."

James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all moved on, too, creating an urgent vacancy in the engine room once both the Caicedo and Lavia transfers fell through.

"In terms of the fee, it was a fraction," he said, but it's fair to say that his recruitment has turned out to be an absolute bargain.

Now, as Liverpool continue their quest for silverware on multiple fronts, Wataru Endo proves that dreams, even when delayed, can still come true.

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