Jurgen Klopp admits he wasn’t intending on playing Georginio Wijnaldum in Saturday’s 4-1 win over West Ham at the London Stadium.
The Dutchman looked set to miss out through injury but became a surprise inclusion in Liverpool’s starting lineup due to Jordan Henderson’s late fitness issue.
There were no signs of any problems, however, as Wijnaldum played a vital role in protecting the Reds’ back four alongside Emre Can.
It turns out the only difficulty was finding the basic kit.
“The day didn’t start well. We did all the tactical things yesterday with the new system and with Jordan (Henderson) on the No.6. He told me he could play but unfortunately the medical department thought a little bit different,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“After a week like this, it is normal the players feel a little bit with their muscles. I had to make this decision and he was not in the squad.”
“It was not the best news I got today but it was even more funny because Gini Wijnaldum tried yesterday and after training we said no chance. Then overnight he improved.”
“We took him with us, but only to be closer to the doctor. He had no boots. This morning he had improved a lot so we could try, we only had to organise boots. I’m not sure where we got them from!”
Henderson’s knock came as not only a blow to the team, but also an individual setback for the skipper, who has been plagued with niggling short-term injuries over the last year.
His absence didn’t come at a cost in the capital though, with Wijnaldum’s all-action performance giving his teammates the freedom to break forward in numbers.
The former Newcastle man was in need of a productive 90 minutes having endured a mix start to the new season.
It might now be worth keeping hold of those boots, Gini.