LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 10, 2024: Liverpool's Wataru End? during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and BC Atalanda. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wataru Endo decision may have big impact on Liverpool’s pre-season plans

Arne Slot‘s preparations for his first season in charge of Liverpool could be dealt a blow after Wataru Endo revealed his desire to feature for Japan at this summer’s Olympic Games.

The 31-year-old is being considered for selection as one of three permitted over-age players for what is otherwise an under-23 competition.

With the football tournament of the Paris Games scheduled to take place between July 24 and August 10, any involvement would mean Endo missing a large chunk of pre-season.

When asked by ABEMA Sports Time about the possibility, the midfielder replied: “I’m also kind of wondering what will happen. Nothing has been decided yet.

“But my stance is that if I’m selected, I’d like to go.”

DOHA, QATAR - Sunday, November 27, 2022: Japan's Wataru Endo during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Japan and Costa Rica at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. Costa Rica won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With the Olympics not a FIFA-sanctioned competition, Liverpool would be able to block Endo from taking part should they wish to do so.

But This Is Anfield understands that the expectation from the player’s camp is that he will be released in the event of a call-up.

It still remains to be seen, though, whether Endo will feature in Go Oiwa’s squad, which is set to be confirmed on July 3.

Should he get the nod, the 31-year-old would become the first Japanese player ever to feature at three Olympic Games.

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - Tuesday, June 19, 2018: Egypt's Mohamed Salah before the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Group A match between Russia and Egypt at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But his involvement could also have huge ramifications for Liverpool, with Egypt also keen to include Mohamed Salah in their squad.

The winger, who featured at the 2012 Games in London, was prevented by the Reds from appearing in the pandemic-delayed Tokyo edition in 2021.

However, Egypt are once again keen to involve him this time around and, should Endo be allowed, it is difficult to imagine Salah not being extended the same courtesy.