The Japanese international spoke about the competition for places in Liverpool’s rebuilt midfield.
Twelve games into the Premier League season Liverpool find themselves second in the table, just a single point behind Manchester City. A big part of the Red’s resurgence this season has been their revamped midfield. One of Liverpool’s new midfield signings, Wataru Endo, spoke about the depth, quality, and competition for spaces.
“I think we have very good midfielders,” said the Japanese holding midfielder. “It’s not only the four new players, we also have Curtis [Jones], Harvey [Elliott] – so many No.8 players!”
“We also have sixes, Macca [Alexis Mac Allister] and I. Thiago is injured but he will come back, and Stefan [Bajcetic] is a No.6. We have very good midfielders, and we are teammates who play altogether.”
“I have learned a lot of things from these players, and I can improve more. This is the most important thing that I have to do.”
When Endo was signed, many believed he would slot into the holding role and allow Alexis Mac Allister to move forward into a more natural more box to box role. Instead, Jürgen Klopp has continued to use Mac Allister, nicknamed Macca, as a more ball progressing holding midfielder. Endo spoke about his admiration for Macca, as well as the options and balance Klopp has between himself and the Argentinian.
“Macca is more offensive, but defensively he always tries to make it better. As he keeps playing, he gets very strong defensively.”
“Also, I can learn a lot of things from him and I think it’s a good balance between me and Macca. He is still young, but he has already won the World Cup and has a very good mentality.”
Liverpool’s new-look midfield has helped unleash a barrage of goals this season. The high level of performance from the entire squad, midfield included, has made for fierce competition for places. Endo stated that everyone is ready to step in and do a job, whether in a starting role or coming off the bench.
“Scoring a lot of goals is normal for Liverpool! We have very good attackers, and everyone works 100 per cent [in] every game, whether they start or not.”
“You don’t only play the starting XI so it’s important that everybody is always ready for playing. We have a good squad.”