Wataru Endo makes surprise transfer plea over possible Liverpool replacement

Wataru Endo of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield
-Credit: (Image: Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Wataru Endo wants to see Liverpool sign a new defensive midfielder this summer.

The Japan international joined the Reds in a £16.2m switch from VfB Stuttgart last summer, after Liverpool had missed out on the likes of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, and ended up making 43 appearances during his first season on Merseyside.

From such a total, 29 came in the Premier League while he started 34 matches overall. Yet while the Japan captain established himself as first-choice in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI, the 31-year-old’s arrival was still a left-field solution for the club.

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With Stefan Bajcetic absent for most of the season through injury, Alexis Mac Allister was forced to play in a deeper role during the campaign as an alternative to Endo following the unexpected departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to Saudi Arabia.

While the Spaniard is now back available, Arne Slot’s inherited squad is still light at defensive midfield. Consequently, Endo concedes he wants to see Liverpool strengthen in the position this summer, even though it could come at the expense of his own game-time this season.

"I don't care about those reports, but I also think it would be better to get the number six midfielder,” he laughed to ABEMA Sports Time, as quoted by MSN.

“I think there is a possibility that they are viewing a number 10 player Mac Allister as a number six/anchor, but at the moment there aren't many number six players to begin with.

“I had the most opportunities to play, and so did Mac Allister. We also had Thiago Alcantara, but he had a lot of injuries and is set to leave the club at the end of this season.

“We also have a young Spanish player (Bacetic), but it's still unclear as to whether he will be able to contribute immediately.

“Considering my age, I think it might be okay for me to get the number six. But if it ultimately makes the team stronger then I'm all for it, because there will be competition and I just have to win my position again.

“So I'm not really worried about it, and in fact I think it might be okay if I win."