Premier League • England

Wataru Endo picks rival defender over Liverpool ace Van Dijk when naming perfect footballer

Liverpool stars Virgil van Dijk and Wataru Endo

Van Dijk was overlooked when Endo compiled his perfect footballer in five categories

Wataru Endo named a different defender who tops Liverpool ace Virgil van Dijk in the strength department when asked to assemble his perfect footballer, though Reds stars did fill three of the five categories.

Expectations weren’t all that high among the Liverpool fanbase when the Reds settled on signing Japan international Endo last summer.

Liverpool initially moved for both Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia for the holding midfield role and a club-record £110m bid for Caicedo was accepted by Brighton.

However, both players only had eyes for Chelsea and once Todd Boehly opened the chequebook, moves to Stamford Bridge quickly took shape.

Thanks in large part to the now departed sporting director Jorg Schmadtke, Liverpool quickly turned their attention to the Bundesliga and Stuttgart in particular.

READ MORE: Liverpool owners FSG aim to buy MLS club as Michael Edwards sets out on expanding network

Endo arrived in a cheap and cheerful £16m deal and has quickly made a mockery of that bargain price tag.

Endo is already a huge fan favourite at Anfield and the only regret is Liverpool didn’t sign the battle-hardened midfielder sooner.

Now, when appearing on Goal Japan’s TikTok channel, Endo was tasked with assembling the perfect footballer.

FEATURE: Liverpool icon and USMNT star among 6 former Premier League players thriving in MLS

Van Dijk overlooked, but Trent, Salah make the cut

The five categories to make up the perfect player were right foot, left foot, strength, speed and footballing IQ.

Endo slotted Trent Alexander-Arnold in for the right foot berth, while Mohamed Salah got the nod for his mesmeric left foot.

Many would’ve expected Endo to pick Liverpool colossus Virgil van Dijk in the strength category. However, rival Reds centre-half, Ibrahima Konate, got the nod instead.

Konate has taken his game up a notch this season and has ensured Liverpool have not been hampered in the absence of Joel Matip who is sidelined after undergoing knee surgery.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, however, Konate is expected to miss Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final clash with Manchester United through a muscle injury sustained against Sparta Prague on March 7.

Rounding out Endo’s perfect footballer were Kylian Mbappe in the speed department and Real Madrid and Croatia legend, Luka Modric, for the footballing IQ category.

DON’T MISS: Father of outstanding Liverpool midfielder admits ‘ultimate dream’ is to sign for Prem rivals