Georginio Wijnaldum believes he is now an all-rounder at Liverpool
Liverpool’s Dutch midfield maestro, Georginio Wijnaldum believes that he has matured into an all-rounder since making the move to Anfield in 2016.
Speaking to UEFA (h/t Liverpoolfc.com), Wijnaldum explained how he has matured into a better player under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp. The Dutchman has become a key component in the German’s midfield engine. He played a key role in the team’s UEFA Champions League triumph last season.
Having joined from Newcastle United, Wijnaldum has gone on to make 177 appearances for the Reds and has scored 18 goals and 16 assists. Among the eighteen are key goals such as the one against Middlesbrough at Anfield in 2018, his away goal at the Stadio Olimpico and the double against Barcelona at Anfield.
Wijnaldum recognized the development he has shown since his arrival on Merseyside.
“I have become more of an all-round player.
Initially starting out as an attacking player, Wijnaldum was used in a withdrawn role by the national team manager, Louis van Gaal. He would only revisit the role after he moved to Liverpool to work under Klopp.
He revealed that Klopp was open to using him in a defensive role. Wijnaldum recognized the need to be an all-rounder and admits that the readjustment was hard. Wijnaldum, however, also appreciates the role it played in his development as he turned into a much more complete player.
“I am a more complete player now than I was when I arrived.”
A personal touch
The Dutchman believes that the German manager’s personal touch makes a positive difference. He also touched upon the strong bond that Klopp shares with his players.
He revealed that Klopp was a great influence on him and praised him for bringing his vision to the club. Wijnaldum believes that Klopp and Liverpool are perfect for each other.
The 29-year-old also revealed the adoration players have for Klopp. He went on to state that the German is an excellent coach and has played a key role in helping the players under him develop.
“He is a good coach, a coach who improves his players and he is a great person to work with.”
Wijnaldum admitted that he shares a close bond with Klopp and is an important person to him even at a personal level.
“He is an important person to me in general.”
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A key player under Ronald Koeman for the Netherlands, Wijnaldum has made 61 appearances for his country. He was a part of the Dutch squads that finished third at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and second in the UEFA Nations League in 2019.