Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has claimed that Gini Wijnaldum is the “perfect midfielder” and says it’s not his fault if this goes under the radar.
The 2019 Ballon d’Or shortlistee has been a very important player for the Reds, in the last 18 months or so, with countless vital moments create by the Dutchman.
“It is not my fault if he goes under the radar,“ Klopp told The Telegraph. “Gini speaks on the pitch with the way he plays. He is the perfect midfielder.
“He has all the things you need – both directions, small spaces, big spaces, hard challenges, fine football, all of that. Gini is a good personality in the dressing room. He is not the guy who says yes to everything.
“It’s not really a case of him knocking on my door but there are things he doesn’t like and that is normal. The perfect reaction was when I didn’t start him against Barcelona.
“Then he came on and scored two goals. Afterwards, I said: You scored twice’. He replied ‘Yes, but that’s because you didn’t let out’. I said: ‘So who is right now?’“
Wijnaldum is an energetic midfielder, and is perhaps a perfect example of the titular box-to-box midfielder. Think about how often the No.5 tracks back to recover the ball, and how often he makes the first pass to start a counter-attack.
With a midfield partnership with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, as per Klopp’s most popular selections, Gini is our biggest attacking threat from the centre.
The Dutchman became the punchline to a joke of sorts, thanks to his run of away games in which he failed to score a goal, which extended back to his Newcastle days, and I think that may have bled into people’s opinion of him.
We talk very little on how much the skipper contributes to goals, because that’s not his role on the field, but is it Wijnaldum’s? I don’t think it is – I reckon Gini is just more enigmatic going forward.
He is – and has been for some time – our best midfielder overall.