Liverpool’s summer signing Gini Wijnaldum is not lacking in confidence, that’s for sure.
The Dutchman arrived for a cool £25m from relegated Newcastle a few weeks back, and made his non-competitive debut versus AC Milan during last weekend’s pre-season friendly victory in America.
Playing in a midfield double pivot with Jordan Henderson, Wijnaldum did well, with Jurgen Klopp preferring to use him deeper instead of in attacking midfield.
Despite the fact he wasn’t played further forward, the 25-year-old thinks he’ll hit double figures for goals this term, as he regularly did at his previous clubs.
“The manager wants more goals but I also put pressure on myself to score, I do that everywhere,” Wijnaldum told Sky Sports.
“I did it at Feyenoord, I did it at PSV and I did it at Newcastle. I’m greedy to score and will do the same this season.
“It’s because I have the quality to get goals. I’ve the quality to create too and because I create a lot, I score goals.
“I think a player with my quality has to at least get a minimum of 10 a season. That’s what I have always said.
“Sometimes you reach more, sometimes less, like last season I got 11. But because I create so many chances I have to score at least ten.”
“He (Klopp) told me I am a player he needs in his team and that I have the quality he likes, that I can help him and the team.
“That gave me a good feeling and confidence. There are a lot of big players in the world, this is a big club and he said that to me.
“I think that I can be successful here. If you play for a club as big as Liverpool, you always have to be trying to win trophies.
“You’re never going to be happy with eighth or ninth here. You have to go for titles because of the history being so big.
“That’s the dream for me, to help Liverpool create more history and I will do everything I can for that.”
Not since Steven Gerrard have we had a central midfielder capable of scoring ten goals a season, and if Wijnaldum can fulfil his expectations, he’ll prove money well spent.
His physicality will inject dynamism, speed and strength into the starting XI, wherever Klopp decides to use him.
For Newcastle, Rafa Benitez used him wide on the left and at no.10, although he’s just as comfortable further back.
Wijnaldum is likely to feature against AS Roma in our final match of tour, and it’ll be interesting to see where our manager decides to use him.