LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 5, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and Union SG at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wataru Endo can see himself “improving” after initial Liverpool “surprise”

Wataru Endo has insisted he pays no heed to the scrutiny he has faced since sealing a surprise move to Liverpool this summer.

And the Japan international believes he is starting to prove his doubters wrong after putting in another impressive performance in Thursday evening’s 5-1 win over Toulouse.

The 30-year-old represented something of a left-field signing for the Reds after attempts to bring in Moises Caicedo as a replacement for Fabinho and Jordan Henderson were dashed by Chelsea.

But he is starting to find his feet in Jurgen Klopp‘s team, as evidenced by recent showings in the League Cup and Europa League.

Asked about the criticism he has faced, Endo replied: “I understand they say that stuff because I’m 30 years old, and I know Liverpool wanted to sign younger players.

“But that’s normal. I didn’t care what they said, I just have to do my job. And if I play well, it’s a good sign.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 26, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo (L) celebrates with team-mate Ryan Gravenberch after scoring the second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Toulouse FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Not only today [Thursday], my performances are getting better and better and I can see it improving more so I just try to do my job every game.”

Endo admits it has taken him some time to get used to the step up in physicality since swapping the Bundesliga for the Premier League.

He continued: “Training is totally different between Liverpool and Stuttgart. When I got here, I was a bit surprised to train here because they have a lot of quality and it’s very intense. But that’s what I wanted to have.

“At Newcastle, it was a very tough game and physically, the speed, everything is different between Europe and the league.

“Here in the Premier League, we always try to play forward to the goal. That’s the main thing. Physically, every team has amazing players.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 21, 2023: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 243rd Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The biggest obstacle to Endo emerging as a regular starter in his early days at Liverpool has been Alexis Mac Allister‘s use in his preferred holding midfield role.

But the former Stuttgart man insists he can learn a lot from his Argentine teammate, and was full of praise for the Reds’ other options in the engine room.

He added: “Macca is more offensive but defensively he always tries to do it better. As he keeps playing he gets stronger defensively.

“I can learn a lot of things from him and I think it’s a good balance between me and Macca.

“I think we have very good midfielders, it’s not only the four new players, we also have Curtis, Harvey, so many No. 8 players.

“We also have sixes, Macca and I, Thiago is injured but he will come back and Stefan is a No. 6. We have very good midfielders.”