Wataru Endo explains how his role at Liverpool is different to Stuttgart

Wataru Endo has revealed how he is adapting to life at Liverpool, following his summer move from Stuttgart.

The 30-year-old Japan captain was something of a surprise arrival when he was signed in a £16m deal, following the failed pursuits of more high-profile stars Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia.

While Liverpool have started the 2023/24 season very strongly, winning seven out of eight games in all competitions, Endo's role has been somewhat limited so far.

The midfielder got his first start in the win over Newcastle back in August, but was substituted before Darwin Nuñez's match-winning brace. Meanwhile, he was also taken off in the second half of the Reds' clash with LASK with Jurgen Klopp needing to find a winner.

There have been some questions raised about Endo's suitability to Liverpool's team, with Klopp – who has often preferred Alexis Mac Allister as his holding midfielder – previously suggesting the player will need time to adapt.

However, the new number three put in an impressive display in Wednesday night's 3-1 win over Leicester, playing the full 90 minutes, bossing the midfield and registering his first assist.

He also even topped Anfield Watch's Player of the Match vote.

Speaking to the Athletic after the game, Endo opened up on how he is getting to grips with his new team.

“I enjoyed it [the win over Leicester] so much. I thought I was better than in the other games. I am happy that I was able to show who I am,” Endo is quoted as saying.

“Defensively, I’m trying to adapt. Like I played in the second half tonight, I wanted to play like that at Newcastle and in the Europa game, but I understand I needed some time. It felt so good to play the full 90 minutes and I felt like I was able to make a difference.

“If I keep playing like I did in the second half, then I hope I’ll play more in the Premier League. I feel ready. I have to perform like that in every game."

Addressing the step-up in coming from Stuttgart to Liverpool, Endo admitted he is still adapting to the new style of play and expectations, but called it a 'dream'.

He said: “The system is different, the game is faster and my position here is a little bit higher than it was.

“The manager doesn’t want me to just stay in front of the defenders. I have to go higher and try to get the ball all the time.

“Here we have to win every game, but I don’t feel pressure as a result of that. I am humble, but I have the mentality that I’m here because they believe in me. It’s exciting to be a part of it. This is my dream and I’m enjoying it. We have done great so far.”

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