Liverpool have completed the signing of defensive midfielder Wataru Endo from Stuttgart for around €19million.
The Japan international has signed a four-year contract at Anfield.
Liverpool turned their attention to Endo this week after missing out in their pursuit of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, who both opted to sign for Chelsea.
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“I’m really happy,” manager Jurgen Klopp told LFCTV.
“I know in this world of football how it goes and stuff like this, but have a look, because he’s a really good player.
“Experienced player, captain of Stuttgart, captain of Japan, speaks good English, nice fella, family man, machine on the pitch, good footballer on top of that, sensational attitude.
“He’s a good footballer, very experienced and loves to work extremely hard.”
“I’m very happy right now and I’m so excited to join a big club in Liverpool,” Endo told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It feels amazing and this is my dream. It’s always been a dream to play in the Premier League and with one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“I can’t wait to play at Anfield in front of Liverpool fans. I play as a No 6. I think I can help this club defensively and I will have good organisation in the middle. I think that’s my job.”
Bought primarily as a defensive midfielder, Endo can also operate at centre back and right-back. He has missed just three games for Stuttgart over the past three seasons.
Another attraction for Liverpool was his leadership skills following the exits of experienced midfielders such as Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Fabinho this summer.
He will complement the club’s current crop of national team captains which includes Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Dominik Szoboszlai and Mohammed Salah.
His availability for Saturday’s game against Bournemouth will depend on whether his work permit and international clearance are granted in time.
Endo has been capped 50 times by the Japan national team and he represented his country during the 2022 World Cup.
What will Endo bring to Liverpool?
Analysis by German football expert Sebastian Stafford-Bloor
There is no reason to be underwhelmed with Wataru Endo. He is a fierce competitor and an excellent professional, but also a superb role model – and how important that could be for Liverpool, with their developing group of young midfielders.
There is also no question that Stuttgart would have been relegated from the Bundesliga last season without Endo. He is one of the most tenacious ball-winners in Germany and there is an energy to the way in which he screens his defence that must make him extremely difficult to play against.
He does not stop. He is relentless.
He can play a bit, too. Nobody would describe him as a regista or deep-lying playmaker, but nor is he just a simple stopper.
He can pass and his technique is good, so he will have no problem fitting in with the technical standard at Liverpool. And with James Milner now gone and Jordan Henderson having left for Saudi Arabia, Jurgen Klopp has a leadership deficit that needs addressing. Endo can be that sort of person; he is extremely well-respected by teammates past and present.
And why has he not left Stuttgart? That is really a question for him, but he is the father of five children and you would imagine that it would take a special opportunity to uproot his family.
(Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)