Gini Wijnaldum has happily discussed the rumours throughout the summer that he was unhappy at Liverpool and wanted to leave – which thankfully were completely false!
Jurgen Klopp decided to bring in Naby Keita and Fabinho, so perhaps it was unsurprising that the media predicted we could also let some players go…
But in reality, we lost Emre Can and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out for a year – so it’s a straight two-for-two swap.
“That was the speculation of the media,” Wijnaldum told reporters, cited by Neil Jones in Goal. “I laugh about it!
“I also read that I asked the club if I could leave. I never had a conversation with the club!
“People from the outside just see Liverpool are buying players, so [they think] players who are already here are going to leave. Liverpool will always buy good players, even if they already have good players. That’s normal. I think it has to be normal for a club like Liverpool because that means you’re a big club.
“But that was something from the media that I was going to Turkey. Maybe because Phillip Cocu is manager and I worked with him for two years. I don’t know who put it in the media, but it wasn’t me!”
Gini was fantastic in our Premier League opener against West Ham, playing as a holding midfielder so that Keita and James Milner could provides legs and energy either side.
One of Wijnaldum’s key attributes is his ability to control the ball in tight situations and use his body to keep opponents away from it – and he offers this skill to the role better than Jordan Henderson does.
He doesn’t have the captain’s passing range though, and we don’t fully know what Fabinho will bring to the ‘no.6’ having only seen him in pre-season.
The options at Klopp’s disposal though are fantastic and when everyone is fully match fit, the boss has a real dilemma on his hands who to pick.