Wataru Endo has claimed that the Premier League is physically more intense than the Bundesliga after making his Liverpool debut in the 3-1 win against Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday.
The Japan international came on as a second-half substitute, after Alexis Mac Allister was (rather unfairly) given his marching orders, and was deployed in a double pivot alongside Dominik Szoboszlai, who dropped deeper to make up for the Reds’ numerical disadvantage.
Endo largely impressed on his debut and showed his class immediately after his surprise £16m switch from Bundesliga side Stuttgart.
When asked by a group of reporters about his first taste of Premier League football, the 30-year-old admitted that he needs to change his mindset to thrive in the number six role at his new club.
He said (quotes via Liverpool Echo): “Physically it was more difficult than the Bundesliga. Premier League teams have individually some very strong players, and so there is a big difference, and also the tempo is a bit different, it is faster.
Wataru Endo on his Liverpool debut:
“It was amazing to play here — a great feeling, a great atmosphere, to warm up and hear the fans chanting my name. They made such a special atmosphere and I so happy to play at Anfield.” [the athletic]
We’re happy to have you, Wataru ️ pic.twitter.com/VE5jUEXf0O
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) August 20, 2023
“In the Bundesliga, nobody has time to take too many touches, but here I have to play one-touch football, for example. And yeah, I need to change the mindset, and have to see where the opponents are coming if I want to play as a number six here.”
With Mac Allister set to be suspended for Liverpool’s next three outings and Stefan Bajcetic just returning to the squad after recovering from an adductor injury, Endo is likely to be named in the starting lineup for the crunch Premier League clash against Newcastle United at St James’ Park next weekend.