Wataru Endo opens up on early troubles at Liverpool

Wataru Endo admits that integrating to Liverpool and the Premier League was immediately 'tough'. The Japan international only has one league start under his belt thus far.

Liverpool midfielder Wataru Endo gave an interview to Sky Sports this week where he discussed both his initial surprise at joining the Reds and how things have started. Naturally, his adaptation to the Premier League was a topic.

Endo has now featured in six Premier League games for the Reds but only one of those has been from the start. In fact, he hasn't played more than 17 minutes in a league fixture since starting against Newcastle United on August 27th.

And perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise. Endo admitted in his interview that the game against the Magpies was a 'tough' one as he tried to handle the differences in English football.

"Yeah, it was different," said Endo. "Phyiscal, technique, speed - it's the Premier League. Of course, I haven't played a lot of games in the Premier League but when I played against Newcastle, it was a very tough game for me.

"Physically, and also speed, technically, it was different."

Endo has certainly struggled at times - there's no question about that. But he's also being asked to play a difficult role in a new team, in a new league, in a new country, with new expectations. It's something the vast majority of players struggle with.

It's worth noting that Jurgen Klopp didn't play Fabinho for even a minute until the end of September after his arrival. He didn't start the Brazilian as a lone defensive midfielder in a big game until the following March.

After all, the way Liverpool press often leaves the holding midfielder very isolated and that makes life difficult. Endo getting a bit of a shock in his first game - especially against a team as good as Newcastle - is understandable.

We expect he'll adapt relatively quickly, though, and should be playing a bigger role across the second half of the season. The important thing, really, is that Endo realises the difficulty and what he's got to overcome. That awareness should fill every fan with confidence that the 30-year-old will eventually click.

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