Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed that Jurgen Klopp was a big factor in his decision to move to Anfield this summer.
The Dutchman completed his £25m move to the Reds last week, ending his spell with Newcastle United after the Magpies dropped down to the Championship last season.
In an interview with The Liverpool Echo, he has revealed that both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton were interested in acquiring his services ahead of the new campaign, but ultimately it was a conversation with Klopp that swayed him towards the red half of Merseyside.
“In that conversation he made me feel really good,” Wijnaldum told The Echo. “He gave me a lot of confidence because he said he liked my way of playing football. He said I was a person he really wanted to have in his squad.
“Something like that is always good to hear. It made me happy, especially as it came from such a great trainer like Jurgen Klopp.
“He showed how good he is at Dortmund with all the success he had. It’s always great when a trainer of that kind of ability says he needs you in his team.
“There was interest from Everton but Liverpool had more interest. Jurgen gave me a good feeling in that conversation. Straight after that I had the feeling that I wanted to come to Liverpool.
“Of course Liverpool is a big club with a good history. Everyone knows that. But there had to be a match.
“He’s in charge and if a great trainer like him wants you then it gives you more confidence to come to a club like this.”
Wijnaldum also revealed that Rafa Benitez spoke to him prior to the move, and although he was desperate for him to remain in the north east, he ultimately conceded that Liverpool were a ‘big club’ and understood the desire to move on, as noted by The Echo.
Competition for places will be fierce at Liverpool next season, but it’s an exciting time for the club as Klopp continues to stamp his mark on the squad.
Wijnaldum proved himself to be an integral part of Newcastle’s limited success last year, and he’ll hope to continue to prove his worth this coming season with Liverpool hoping to challenge for a top-four finish at the very least.