New Liverpool signing Wataru Endo has revealed how his move to Liverpool came about, admitting he thought the Reds had completed a deal for Moises Caicedo instead.
The 30-year-old Japan international was a surprise £16m transfer from Stuttgart, with the deal following failed moves for Caicedo and long-term target Romeo Lavia, who have both signed for Chelsea.
It was a whirlwind few days for Endo who finalised his transfer on Friday, before making his Anfield debut as a substitute in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.
Speaking after his first experience as a Liverpool player, Endo reflected on his surprise arrival, admitting he thought he had a ‘chance’ of a transfer when Caicedo opted to join Chelsea.
“To be honest I followed Liverpool’s news, that they wanted midfielders, they wanted a No 6,” Endo told reports, as quoted by The Athletic. “I thought Caicedo had gone to Liverpool! (Laughs). So when I heard he went to Chelsea I just thought ‘maybe’.
“I thought maybe they needed experienced midfielders or something like that, because (Jordan) Henderson and Fabinho had moved. I thought there might be a chance.
“I understand top clubs want young talent, but you know I just say to myself: ‘This is the only chance you can get to move to Liverpool because they usually try to get younger players.’ I got the chance and I intend to take it.”
Endo also revealed that the first contact from Liverpool only came a few days before, and it was an offer he couldn’t turn down.
“It was only three or four days ago. It happened so fast,” he said. “My agent called me and I had to decide quickly. I couldn’t say no because to play in the Premier League was always my dream. I would always tell my agent I wanted to play in the Premier League for a top, top team, so here I am!
“I was getting ready to play in the Bundesliga. Now I’m playing here at Anfield in the Premier League in front of all these fans, it is crazy.
“I only had time for one training session so I just tried to get ready as best I could. I am an experienced player, so I needed to accept and deal with the situation.”
Liverpool new number three spoke to ex-Liverpool forward and fellow Japan international Takumi Minamino before his arrival in England, as well as Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu.
“Yesterday I talked with Taki about how the team is,” he added. “And also Tomiyasu about how the Premier League is, things like that.
“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.”