Wataru Endo’s Premier League debut goal sent Japanese media into a frenzy.
Liverpool defeated Fulham 4-3 in the 14th round of the 2023-24 Premier League on Wednesday at Anfield, Liverpool’s home ground in England. With 31 points, Liverpool moved into second place, knocking Manchester City (30 points) into third. Arsenal is first with 36 points.
Liverpool conceded a third goal in the 35th minute to fall behind 2-3. Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp brought on Endo as a substitute in the 38th minute.
The move paid off. Four minutes after coming on, Endo equalized off a pass from Mohamed Salah. Five minutes later, Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled one back for the Reds, and they held on for a dramatic win.
After the game, the Japanese media was all over Endo’s performance. Soccer Digest wrote: “The Japan captain sent Anfield into a frenzy with a right-footed strike from outside the box just four minutes after coming on. Endo turned the game on its head. Endo is a Liverpool hero,” was the headline.
“Rather than celebrate after scoring, Endo went straight back to work, aiming to turn the game around,” the publication continued. The Japanese captain puts the team first. Hopefully, that attitude will translate into a leap forward at Liverpool.”
Endo has made nine Premier League appearances this season. In a recent interview, he admitted that he struggled to adapt to the tempo of the Premier League, saying, “It’s hard to keep up with the pace.”
With his first goal in the league, Endo seems to be more acclimatized to the Premier League. However, the depth of Liverpool’s roster makes it difficult for him to establish himself as a regular starter.