To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Who is Wataru Endo? The Japanese 'bodyguard' Liverpool have submitted a bid for

Who is Wataru Endo? The Japanese 'bodyguard' Liverpool have submitted a bid for

Here is all you need to know.

Liverpool have reportedly made a formal bid for VfB Stuttgart midfielder Wataru Endo, but who is the Japanese midfielder and why does Jorg Schmadtke want to sign him?

Endo is the latest name rumoured with a move to Anfield as Jurgen Klopp attempts to add a defensive-minded midfielder to his ranks.

And here is all you need to know about the 30-year-old, nicknamed the 'bodyguard'.

Who is Wataru Endo?

Endo was born in February 1993 and has established himself as a key member of both Stuttgart and the Japanese national team's midfield set-up.

He began his professional career with Shonan Bellmare, before joining Belgian side Sint-Truiden until 2019. He was then loaned out to Stuttgart where he enjoyed an impressive spell before signing for the Bundesliga side permanently.

The midfielder, who has also been deployed as a centre-back for manager Sebastian Hoeneß, was handed the captain's armband soon after his arrival and has not looked back since.

How did he play last season?

Endo scored five goals and registered four assists in 35 appearances for Stuttgart last season and his statistics since the 2020/21 campaign speak for themselves.

What's been said about him?

Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat waxed lyrical about Endo during the pandemic-affected 2019/20 campaign, labelling him an 'anchor'.

"As a player and as a person, he's simply incredibly valuable," Mislintat said (quotes via Bundesliga website)

"He's one of these anchors, a focal point in our system. Whether he plays as a centre-back or as a defensive midfielder, it's good that he's there and performs."

"It's important for me that our captain can take everyone with him, that he embodies the values we stand for and is an example to follow. "I have chosen Wataru Endo because he's also someone who leaves room for other players to take responsibility."

While the American tactician also referred to him as the "bodyguard" and "heartbeat" of the team.

Why might Liverpool be interested?

Jurgen Klopp is in dire need of midfield reinforcements following a number of departures in the centre of the park.

Midfield duo Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have both made the popular switch to the Saudi Pro League, whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Naby Keita all packed their bags following the expiration of their contracts earlier this summer.

In turn, the Reds boss has been left without a recognised, fit No. 6 to complete his midfield trio which includes new signings Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.

The Merseyside outfit recently had their pursuit of Moises Caicedo derailed by Chelsea, with the 21-year-old opting for a move to Stamford Bridge despite having a medical scheduled at Anfield. In addition, Liverpool target Romeo Lavia looks set to follow Caicedo to west London.

Endo, meanwhile, would provide valuable experience and would hopefully fit into the squad from the get-go, providing a quick-fix to Klopp's midfield dilemma.

What's the latest?

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has issued his signature 'here we go' catchphrase to confirm that Endo will have a medical at Liverpool.

Romano tweeted: "Wataru Endō to Liverpool, here we go! Medical tests booked on Thursday for Japanese midfielder who’s joining from Stuttgard for €18m fee.

"Personal terms agreed in few hours as Endō asked as Stuttgart captain to leave & follow his dream."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool, Transfers, Football, Premier League