Wataru Endo, a Japanese midfielder, joins Liverpool from Stuttgart

Liverpool signed Japan midfielder Wataru Endo from German club Stuttgart on Friday.

The 30-year-old Endo was in the last year of his contract at Stuttgart, where he was the captain. Endo played in all four of Japan’s games at the World Cup last year.

“He was always on my list, just usually we don’t sign players of this age group,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said. “He is obviously a top fit and we will have a lot of fun with him. I’m really sure he can help us immediately, which is super-cool because the season already started.”

The signing for a reported fee of 19 million euros ($20.7 million) comes after Liverpool missed out on defensive midfielders Moisés Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, both of whom opted for Chelsea instead.

Endo can play as a defensive midfielder or in the center of defense. He had been at Stuttgart since 2020 and scored five goals in 33 Bundesliga games last season as the club narrowly avoided relegation.

Klopp has overhauled his midfield this offseason after the departures of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson to the Saudi Pro League. James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita also left.

In has come Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton and Hungary captain Dominik Szoboszlai from Leipzig.

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