Wataru Endo, Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia’s 22/23 stats compared

Liverpool’s pursuit of new signings in the transfer window has faced setbacks recently, with the club missing out on targeted players.

Despite making early acquisitions with Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, the team’s activity has slowed down, and key departures like James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, and Fabinho have left the midfield options limited.

The most pressing need for Liverpool currently is a holding midfielder, but their attempts to reinforce this area have not yielded positive results thus far.

While manager Jurgen Klopp is keen on bolstering his squad, the club has encountered challenges in securing the desired signings for midfield positions.

First, Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo snubbed Klopp’s team to join Chelsea for a British-record transfer fee of £115m.

Now, to make matters worse, Liverpool’s back-up option, Belgian star Romeo Lavia, has joined the Blues for around £58m.

With panic creeping in, Klopp has now turned his attention to Stuttgart midfielder Wataru Endo, with the Reds reportedly agreeing a £15.4m deal for the Japanese star.

It’s a transfer that has surprised the football world and one that few saw coming. Indeed, while Endo has plenty of experience, he is a name you might not be familiar with, unless you’re an avid watcher of the Bundesliga.

Who is Wataru Endo?

Endo is a Japanese international who has represented his country at a number of international tournaments. A crucial part of the Japan side that reached the last-16 of the 2022 World Cup, Endo has made 50 appearances for his country in total and now captains the side.

He also captains Stuttgart at present, having joined the club from Belgian side Sint-Truiden in 2020. Since joining, Endo has made 133 appearances for the club, scoring 15 goals.

In terms of his style of play, Endo has been compared to Milner, owing to his versatility. The Japanese midfielder is comfortable sitting in front of the back four but has been known to operate as a number eight as well. He’s even filled in at centre-back and right-back on occasion as well.

With Endo set to join Liverpool, we decided to compare his statistics last season with Caicedo and Lavia, using data collected bySquawka.

We’ve looked at 13 different metrics from the 2022/23 campaign and it’s safe to say there’s a clear winner.

Though it’s important not to read too much into such comparisons – after all, Endo was playing in the Bundesliga, while Caicedo and Lavia were competing in the Premier League, it does give some indication as to the type of player Liverpool are getting.

Which statistics does Lavia top?

Aged just 19, Lavia is the youngest of the three players and is only going to improve. However, he tops just two of the 13 statistics in this case.

The Belgian managed an average of 7.6 ball recoveries per 90, while Endo and Caicedo both achieved 7.2 per game.

Lavia also registered more blocks per 90 than the other two – though his efforts for Southampton were not enough to stop them being relegated.

As a player, Lavia is a combative midfielder, who likes to get stuck in and make a lot of challenges. He is also comfortable in build-up and does not look out of place when getting further forward.

That being said, it remains to be seen where he will fit in the Chelsea starting XI. Mauricio Pochettino already has Enzo Fernandez, who will undoubtedly start, and given the price Caicedo has been bought for, you can expect the Ecuadorian to be first-choice as well. It means we could see Lavia playing a more box-to-box role, with Caicedo likely to sit deeper.

Which statistics does Caicedo top?

Caicedo tops five of the 13 statistics, though many of these are arguably the most crucial for a holding midfielder.

The ex-Brighton man had a pass accuracy of 88.77 percent last year – higher than Lavia’s 86.38 percent and Endo’s 79.67 percent.

He also made the most tackles per 90 (2.9) and registered the most interceptions (1.7). Added to this, the 21-year-old had the best aerial duel success (63.79 percent) and the best ground duel success (57.55 percent.)

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has stressed that he feels Caicedo will be a great signing for Chelsea, but also emphasised that Liverpool’s transfer business has been poor this summer.

“They haven’t got deals done. That is your job in that role to get deals over the line – the two players that Liverpool bought had buyout clauses so there’s no negotiating and no big deal to go about, you just meet the buyout clause,” he said.

“Liverpool have not got deals over the line and it’s been embarrassing that you start with Lavia and won’t pay a certain amount, you then go for Caicedo and you get something agreed – that’s why I won’t be critical of the owners because they were willing to pay £110million and break the transfer record – but to go with him when he’s been talking to Chelsea for three month, but then they go back to Lavia – it’s an absolute mess.”

Which statistics does Endo top?

Liverpool fans will be thrilled to hear that Endo tops six of the 13 categories in total.

The Stuttgart star managed the most goals, assists and created the most chances last year. This highlights that Endo is perhaps best suited to a box-to-box role.

Further to this, Endo completed the most successful long passes – 2.6, compared to Caicedo’s 2.5 and Lavia’s 1.9.

Despite being just 1.78m tall, Endo contested far more aerial duels than the other two players – averaging four per game in total.

The final stat he tops is clearances, with the Japanese midfielder’s 1.9 better than Caicedo’s 1.7 and Lavia’s 1.4.

Speaking on Endo, Stuttgart’s sporting director Sven Mislintat said: “As a player and as a person, he’s simply incredibly valuable.

“He’s one of those 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.”

He added: “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.”

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