Union Berlin have signed Japan international Keita Endo on a season-long loan deal from Yokohama F. Marinos. bundesliga.com has the lowdown on Germany's newest Asian import...
Club: Union Berlin (on loan from Yokohama F. Marinos)
Country: Japan (two caps)
Endo came through the Yokohama youth set-up, before making his professional debut in the J League Cup in March 2016. He scored on his full J1 League debut in a win over Gamba Osaka in 2017 - one of three seasons in which he found the net at least twice. His most prolific league return fell in 2019, when he tallied seven goals and nine assists in 33 games as Yokohama claimed the league title. Across his 141 appearances for the Marinos, he produced 16 goals and 22 assists.
Endo, who made his debut for the Japan national team in the 2019 East Asian Football Championship, follows in the footsteps of the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Shinji Okazaki and Yuya Osako in swapping the Land of the Rising Sun for Germany. Union have the option to buy the 5'9" left winger - who has also played on the right wing and as a right-back - at the end of 2020/21. A natural right-footer, he has a four-star rating for his so-called weaker side on FIFA 20, with an overall grading of 68.
Plays a bit like: Christian Pulisic
Endo's ability to take the ball in his stride, either hugging the touchline or ghosting inside is reminiscent of former Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic. He's comfortable running full-tilt at opposition defenders, and can finish and create chances with either foot.
Did you know?
Endo not only cancelled out a goal from ex-Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg playmaker Kevin De Bruyne in a summer 2019 friendly against Manchester City, but he also helped his parent club enjoy 58 per cent possession over Pep Guardiola's charges.
"Yokohama played some incredible football," said former Bayern Munich coach Guardiola after his side ground out a 3-1 win. "They're one of the best I've seen, with some real attacking talent. It was a big test for us."
What they're saying
"We've been watching Keita Endo for a long time. He's a very interesting player with great skills who can help us with his speed and technique." - Union sporting director, Oliver Ruhnert
"Keita works really hard for the team and is a real threat in the attacking third." - Yokohama coach, Ange Postecoglou