Gini Wijnaldum has said Jurgen Klopp’s charisma helped convince him to sign for Liverpool over Tottenham during the summer.
The 26-year-old played for relegated Newcastle last term, but did enough to convince ourselves and Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs of his qualities.
Thankfully, we managed to snare Wijnaldum while Tottenham spent more money on Moussa Sissoko, who’s been very poor so far at White Hart Lane.
This is because Klopp made sure he got to know Wijnaldum as a person and not just a footballer during their preliminary conversations.
“I had great conversations with [Mauricio] Pochettino and Klopp,” the Dutch international told the Guardian. “But in the meeting with Jürgen we had a laugh and did not speak only about football. He was interested in my personal life and that was good for me. He was not only interested in Wijnaldum the footballer but Wijnaldum the person. When you’re not out on the football field you have to communicate as people and it is good if you know something about how the other person is. It makes things easier.”
Wijnaldum regularly played out wide for the Toon in 2015/16, but Klopp’s moulded him into a box-to-box midfielder in Liverpool’s 4-3-3 formation.
He and Emre Can are effectively competing for one spot at the moment, but with Adam Lallana injured, both could start either side of Jordan Henderson today against Sunderland.
Wijnaldum helps us maintain possession, but his fitness also stretches the opposition. Now he’s settled, we’d like to see him taking more risks. He’s mighty talented and bagged 11 for Newcastle last term and we’re looking forward to seeing the attacking, creative side of his game slightly more.