Liverpool could ruin Endo by signing £100m ace who’s “better” than Rice

So often, Liverpool have got it right in the transfer market under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage, with numerous astute pieces of business serving as pillars throughout the illustrious period with the German at the helm.

Even last summer, when Liverpool fought and failed to sign both Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo – both joining Chelsea after a high-profile transfer saga – the surprise replacement deal for Wataru Endo has confirmed the Anfield side’s prowess in the market once more.


The sweeping changes that were made to the midfield last summer have restored Liverpool after a struggle last term, but now Klopp seems intent on completing the pack and is looking to make a move for a leading No. 6 this summer.

Liverpool’s search to complete their midfield

According to Football Insider, Liverpool have been told that an offer of £100m will be accepted for Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz in the summer transfer window, with Arsenal and Barcelona also interested.


The Reds are still eager to sign a defensive midfielder to close the door on the tinkering to the engine room and would welcome a leading Premier League figure by getting this one over the line.

How Douglas Luiz compares to Declan Rice

Aston Villa signed Luiz from Manchester City in a £15m deal in 2019 when he was just 21 years old, having now amassed 181 appearances, scoring 19 goals and supplying 20 assists.

Described as “the complete player” by The Athletic reporter Jacob Tanswell, the Villan star, now aged 25, has found the formula to bring all the various elements of the midfield game into his personal repertoire.

This is evidenced through his performances this season for high-flying Villa, posting six goals and three assists across 20 Premier League displays, as per Sofascore, completing 89% of his passes, averaging 1.5 key passes, 2.1 tackles, 4.9 ground duels and 6.2 ball recoveries per match while also succeeding with 63% of his dribbles.

His exploits have even led pundit and former Red Jermaine Pennant to declare that he would rather have Luiz in the No. 6 role than Declan Rice, saying: “I think he can do everything that Rice can do and better.”


The England international – who signed for the Gunners from West Ham United for £105m in the summer – is among the finest centre-midfielders in Europe but there is substance to Pennant’s claim.

Rice has completed 92% of his passes this term, also averaging 2.1 tackles, 4.2 ground duels and 5.1 ball recoveries per game, demonstrating that the respective stars are almost neck-and-neck in their craft this term.

Declan Rice vs Douglas Luiz: 2023/24 PL season

Stat (per 90)












Pass Success



Key Passes



Progressive Passes



Shot-creating Actions



Tackles Won



Successful take-ons



Progressive Carries



Aerial duel win %



Stats via FBRef.

There’s absolutely no chance that Rice will wind up at Anfield any time soon but Luiz’s arrival is a real possibility, and while it would be a brilliant signing, it might have detrimental effects for certain members of the squad.

How Douglas Luiz would fit in at Liverpool

Luiz embodies the new wave of midfielders gracing the front of the European game, proving to be a reliable and commanding defensive figure but also incorporating multiple different facets to provide his manager with a very singular tool to craft success.


Liverpool eye move for “special” PL star who could avenge their Torres sale

Jurgen Klopp would sign a first-class talent by landing this PL player.

The ten-cap Brazil international would expect to play a prominent role at the heart of Klopp’s Liverpool system and because of this Endo might find himself struggling for regular match action, already competing with Alexis Mac Allister for the deep-lying spot at Anfield.

The Japan star has been an important player for Liverpool this season and despite a slow start has risen to the fore of late, awarded the club’s Player of the Month award for December.

Having chalked up 24 appearances for his English side across all competitions, scoring twice and providing one assist, the 30-year-old has even been hailed for his “game-changing” ability by reporter Neil Jones,

His energy and commitment have been crucial for Liverpool and have allowed the more creative members of the midfield to flourish, completing 87% of his passes across 15 Premier League matches and averaging 1.1 tackles and 2.8 ball recoveries per game, also only winning 40% of his ground duels.

As is quite clear, his technical ability struggles to hold up against a star of Luiz’s standing, with the South American also ranking among the top 17% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for goals, the top 20% for assists and the top 16% for shot-creating actions per 90, as per FBref.

Douglas Luiz: Similar Players





Marc Roca

Real Betis


Bruno Guimaraes

Newcastle United


Hakan Calhanoglu

Inter Milan


Enzo Fernandez



Wataru Endo


*Sourced via FBref

The fact that Endo is considered a similar player to Luiz hardly helps the former’s case either, with the £50k-per-week Liverpool ace’s style overshadowed by the Aston Villa player’s game, effectively surpassing him in all areas.

Of course, were the 5 foot 11 Villa Park stalwart to join Liverpool it would not preclude Endo’s chances of success in any format, but it would make it much harder to wedge his way into a regular starting berth in the Premier League.


Mac Allister is not a natural holding midfielder but his passing prowess and relentlessness in his work does allow him to find success in this area, having played the lion’s share of his football for Liverpool serving this role.

In this regard, Endo and the Argentine have found a sort of counterbalance which Klopp can utilise to field the star he deems best fit to thrive in any particular contest.

Would it be ruthless to make a move to sign Villa’s Brazilian maestro, basically a direct upgrade on Endo? Perhaps it would. But then with so much on the line and a future of illustrious proportions envisaged within Klopp’s sagacious footballing mind, it might be the move to make to ensure that Liverpool continue their resurgence.

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