Phil Thompson believes that one Liverpool player isn’t ‘getting the credit he deserves’ for the impact he’s making on the team.
While fellow summer arrivals Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch have all received plenty of praise for their performances, the £50,000-per-week Japan international has had to fight harder for public recognition, starting just twice in the Premier League so far.
Speaking on talkSPORT after yesterday’s match, Thompson was eager to commend the 30-year-old for his decisive late contribution, with the former Liverpool captain stating: “Endo scored a superb goal. I don’t think he is getting the credit he deserves when he comes into it.”
Surprising as it may seem, Endo’s goal tally for Liverpool is level with that of Szoboszlai, who plays in a more advanced position and has had almost twice as much game-time, playing 1,378 minutes to the Japan captain’s 701 (Transfermarkt).
The 30-year-old faced criticism of his performance in the Europa League defeat to Toulouse last month, when he was substituted at half-time but the Reds as a whole were dreadful that night.
The ex-Stuttgart man has been a squad player rather than a first-team regular up to now, but as we’re seeing with Caoimhin Kelleher deputising for Alisson Becker, injuries could suddenly thrust him into the starting line-up for a sequence of games.
Moments like his thunderous goal to equalise yesterday, which came at a real hour of need for Liverpool, should greatly help Endo to win over any doubters. In addition to that crucial moment, he also misplaced just two of his eight passes during his 15 minutes on the pitch (Sofascore).
Ultimately, the only man he needs to impress is Jurgen Klopp, who wouldn’t have signed the midfielder in the summer if he didn’t believe he was up to the task of playing for this Reds team.