Wataru Endo didn't need time to think when asked for the Liverpool teammate he struggles most to defend in training.
Wataru Endo has given a pretty in-depth interview with The Times this week. They asked him about his mentality, primarily, and how his rise through football's ranks has happened over the last few years.
Here's a player who was playing in Japan at 25 and only started playing in a 'big five' European league in 2020. Endo's rise has been quite remarkable, having joined Liverpool in the summer from Stuttgart.
He puts a lot of that down to his mentality and capacity to keep learning, even at this stage of his career. The Japanese international is finding once again that he's learning thanks to the 'leap' in quality from Stuttgart to the Reds.
“From day one, I’ve thought, ‘This is pretty good!’” he said. “Stuttgart also had good players and training was a high standard but since I came here [the leap in level] has been surprising.”
Endo was then asked which Liverpool player gives him the most trouble in training - and the answer wasn't exactly a shock.
“Hahaha. Mo [Salah]. He’s not tall but he is very strong and knows how to keep the ball. It is very difficult to get it from him. But everybody is very high quality.”
Salah is, of course, one of the most difficult players to defend in world football and has been since 2017. Really, he's one of the most difficult-to-defend players that the Premier League has ever seen. Endo can't really ask for a better learning experience.
Endo is now actually putting out a self-help book, called 'Duel', about his career and how he's gotten to where he is. There's certainly a lot to draw on, from his quick adaptation to European football or captaining Stuttgart despite not knowing German.