Wataru Endo returns to Stuttgart for final farewell – “This club is my family”

Wataru Endo made a surprise visit back in Germany to say his final farewells to his former Stuttgart team-mates, having not had the chance during his whirlwind move.

Endo swapped Stuttgart for Merseyside in rapid fashion after Liverpool moved to lure the defensive midfielder in a £16.2 million deal last month.

The 30-year-old hardly had the opportunity to catch his breath and soak in the fact he is a Liverpool player, with his debut coming a day after his signing was announced.

The speedy manner of his move meant he did not have the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to his Stuttgart team-mates, which he made sure to do during the international break.

Endo returned to the German club’s training ground on Wednesday, after two appearances for Japan, and surprised his former team-mates after a training session.

There were plenty of hugs and happy faces at the sight of Endo as he waited in the building as players and staff streamed in from the outside pitches.

“This is club is my family so I feel very happy to see my team-mates and staff, I didn’t have time to say goodbye,” Endo told Stuttgart’s official website.

“I thought the pictures in the stadium in the first game, Stuttgart fans showed a message to me, and I feel very thankful.

“I’m going to miss the guys, but this is also my new chapter, so I’ll do my best.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Endo joined Stuttgart in 2019, first on loan, and became their captain in 2021 – he played 133 times for the German outfit.

At Liverpool, meanwhile, the new No. 3 was immediately thrown into the deep end, and he has so far played a total of 88 minutes, the majority with only 10 men.

“It’s actually quite busy,” Endo said of his time at Anfield. “I had a good few weeks, I played in three games and three wins – it’s tough because I played with 10 men!”

Not the easiest way to settle, which Jurgen Klopp has attested to on more than one occasion.

With a run of seven games in 22 days ahead, Endo’s busy start to life at Liverpool will continue, but he will be given the time to continue to adjust to his new demands.