Gini Wijnaldum has revealed that manager Jurgen Klopp asked him about team-mate Virgil van Dijk before either of them signed for the Reds.
While the midfielder was still playing for Newcastle, the boss was encouraged to sign the Netherlands defender.
We’re forever in debt to Gini for his heroics against Barcelona in the Champions League, and his service over the years, but pushing Klopp to sign van Dijk may be one of the best things he’s done for us.
“Before I even joined Liverpool I had a meeting with Jurgen and during our talks he asked me about Virgil van Dijk,” Wijnaldum is quoted as saying GOAL.
“I had always rated Virgil very highly and my exact words to Jurgen were, ‘He is going to make the defence a lot better’.
“So I was not surprised when Virgil won the UEFA Best Player award ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I actually expected him to win it.
“Virgil has had a blinder of a season and has been so successful. Nothing about him surprises me any more.”
It’s nice to hear that Gini has such confidence in his international captain, and it’s something we wholeheartedly agree with – big Virg is the best player in the world.
I’d go as far as to suggest Wijnaldum under-sold van Dijk by saying he’d make our ‘defence a lot better’ as he’s helped a hopeless defence become the best in Europe!
Of course, Alisson and Andy Robertson, and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s rise have all had an impact, but none of them bigger than van Dijk, in my opinion.