NewsWataru Endo on midfield competition and '100%' squad mentality
Wataru Endo believes competition for places will ensure nobody in Liverpool’s squad takes their foot off the gas this season.
The Reds signed off for the current international break with a 3-0 victory over Brentford last weekend that moved them a point off the Premier League summit, while Jürgen Klopp’s side also top their Europa League group and are through to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
Japan international Endo has featured in 13 games since his summer move to Merseyside from VfB Stuttgart, and spoke of the benefits of the depth of options at Klopp’s disposal.
“I think we have very good midfielders,” the No.3 was quoted in the official matchday programme. “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.”
Endo was one of those four midfielders to arrive at Anfield during the summer transfer window, with Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch also joining.
Discussing Mac Allister specifically, Endo said: “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 three goals against the Bees took their overall tally for 2023-24 to 47, coming at a rate of 2.6 per game.
Endo added: “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.”
Endo also spoke glowingly about another teammate, Mohamed Salah, who moved to within two goals of a double-century in Liverpool colours with his brace versus Brentford.
“I am so happy to have Mo as a teammate,” he said. “He’s a very special player and is also a very kind person.
“He trains a lot and he will do everything to score. He can look like he is not playing well and then the next chance he will score. He has confidence and trains with the same mentality.”