Jurgen Klopp’s decision to hand Gini Wijnaldum the captaincy during the 0-0 draw against Real Madrid in the Champions League has attracted controversy, particularly given that the Dutchman is still yet to commit his future to Liverpool.
With the club searching for a goal after the hour mark had passed, Thiago Alcantara was introduced to the field for James Milner, with the veteran Premier League midfielder passing the armband to the No.5
As far as Jose Enrique is concerned, the German should have handed the captaincy to one of Trent Alexander-Arnold or Andy Robertson, with the former Reds fullback suggesting the latter would have been “truly deserving of it”.
“I believe Klopp has given Wijnaldum the armband as an appreciation for what he’s done before,” the 35-year-old told Empire of the Kop yesterday.
“He is not signing a contract, so for me, he would not be my captain when Virgil van Dijk, Hendo and Milner are not on the field,”
“I would give it to Trent or Robbo, but I’d probably go for Robbo. I believe the way he plays and the way he always gives 100% makes him truly deserving of it. He is a top character.
“Gini is a legend of the club for what he’s done, but he’s leaving – I wouldn’t give the captaincy to someone who’s leaving.”
While we can hardly fault the 30-year-old’s efforts during the second-leg, it does seem somewhat strange to hand the captaincy over to a player who is deemed likely to part ways with us at the end of the season.
Given the players’ previous involvement in the process, of course, it’s likely that this was a decision endorsed by the squad, though we more than understand Enrique’s sense of perplexity over the matter.
Nonetheless, whatever happens with Wijnaldum between now and the end of the season, there’s no question in our minds over how important the Dutch international has been to our recent successes and we’d wish him well for the future.