If it were up to Jurgen Klopp, Gini Wijnaldum would still be a Liverpool player.
That much is 100% certain. No midfielder has played more for Liverpool under Klopp’s guidance – and even if Jordan Henderson stayed fit for the entire season – he still wouldn’t overtaken his former team-mate’s Premier League minutes since Gini signed in 2016…
Wijnaldum was a stalwart for Liverpool both in the dressing room and on the pitch. He was the team’s fourth captain, behind Hendo, James Milner and Virgil van Dijk – chosen specifically by his team-mates – above the likes of Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.
“I will miss the player he is like crazy, highest-quality ability, one of the smartest players I have ever had the privilege to coach,” Klopp told the official website when penning a goodbye letter to his Dutch talisman.
“His contribution was off the scale, a manager’s dream…”
Yet PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino has yet to see what all this fuss was about…
Wijnaldum has only been given one start in PSG’s past five matches in Ligue 1 and the Champions League, with Pochettino favouring Marco Verratti, Idrissa Gueye and even Ander Herrera in his midfield three. When deploying a midfield two, as he has on occasion this season, Poch has also not trusted Gini with a start.
And it’s caused our former no.5 to publicly declare his unhappiness – which historically has rarely led to a player instantly getting more minutes…
“I can’t say I’m completely happy, because the situation is not what I wanted,” he told Dutch news outlet NOS.
“I have played a lot in recent years, was always fit and also did very well. This is something different and that takes getting used to.