Arriving last summer following Liverpool’s rather public failures to sign Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, Wataru Endō was perhaps always going to have a difficult time impressing anyone who primarily bases their player evaluations on transfer fees.
That he’s managed to do just that, establishing himself as a key player in Jürgen Klopp’s table-topping side and being talked about as one of the best signings for any Premier League club last summer, speaks to his talents as a defensive midfielder.
Those talents and the degree to which he has settled into this Liverpool side were given a confirmatory note today as Endō was officially named the club’s Player of the Month for December, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who disagrees.
“I hope this is just one of many!” he noted of the honour. “December is a very important month [and] because we had so many injured players and I knew I needed to show why I’m here, but the way we played and how we showed on the pitch was great.”
Unfortunately for Klopp and the Reds, Endō now heads off to join Japan at the 2024 edition of the Asian Cup, where a deep run is expected for Samurai Blue and anything less than at least a spot in the Round of 16 would come as a quite significant shock.