Gini Wijnaldum has explained how Jurgen Klopp’s dog petrified him so much when first meeting our manager in 2016 that he almost refused to come into his house!
Liverpool bought the Dutchman from relegated Newcastle that year and have achieved great things with Gini marshalling the midfield – most notably the Champions League win in 2019.
But it could have been different if Klopp hadn’t locked his pet in a different room…
“I spoke to Pochettino because he wanted me to come to Spurs,” Wijnaldum began, cited in the Mirror.
“But then I also went to see Jurgen Klopp. When I got to Klopp’s house, I realised he has a massive dog – and I mean massive!
“Nothing scares me more than a big dog. I am absolutely petrified of dogs. Jurgen did not know that, of course, but there was no way I was going into that house.
“Jurgen had to move the dog to a room where he could not escape.
“Then he helped me relax by talking about my holiday and about all kinds of other things before we even spoke about football.”
Wijnaldum still has a new contract to sign at Liverpool, as his current deal expires at the end of next summer – but it sounds as though he’ll be penning new terms if we’ve interpreted his next comments correctly.
“I am so happy at Liverpool. I have integrated in a fantastic way,” he continued.
“I really feel at home here – and in England.
“In fact, I feel so at home that when I travel to Holland to see my family, I soon feel I want to go back home.”
Gini has enjoyed a stellar season, but like his team-mates, has been below par since the winter break – which seemingly knocked our rhythm.
With games against Chelsea, Bournemouth and Atletico Madrid coming up, it’s vital we find some form – or we would go from competing in three competitions to one very quickly.