Liverpool’s signing of Wataru Endo from Stuttgart has been met with widespread surprise in the football world.

The Reds today completed the signing of the 30-year-old, who will wear Fabinho’s vacant No.3 shirt at Anfield.

It was a transfer that few – if any – saw coming in Liverpool’s midfield rebuild. And writing in his Reading The Game newsletter today, journalist Miguel Delaney says the move has bemused insiders.

Wataru Endo
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Delaney claims that ‘some in the game’ have noted how the transfer signals a major departure from Liverpool’s business of recent years.

Previously said to be viewed as being adept at ‘unearthing gems,’ the signing of Endo is instead reportedly being seen as a sporting director bringing in someone familiar to him. This is said to have ‘raised some eyebrows’ in the football world.

Liverpool raise eyebrows again

Although the Endo signing could be viewed as a case of Jorg Schmadtke buying a player he knows well, it could go the other way too.

The majority of Liverpool fans will have been unaware of Wataru Endo 48 hours ago. He isn’t a young starlet, but he could well still be an unearthed gem.

Stuttgart fans seem to absolutely love him. But although he’s certainly a household name in Germany and Japan, he isn’t in the UK.

Wataru Endo
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

As a result, if Endo works out, then Schmadtke could absolutely be seen to have played a blinder in the market.

Liverpool have always marked themselves out as being slightly different to other top sides in the way they do business. They don’t always go for the sure thing or the biggest name, and that’s fine.

This summer has been a slight worry in that it has seen the Reds scrambling about very publicly.

In that sense, yes, eyebrows should be raised. But in isolation, Liverpool signing Endo out of nowhere is very much on brand for the Reds.

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