Georginio Wijnaldum has suggested that he left Liverpool after starting to feel unloved by some of the club’s fans.
The Netherlands international has just completed a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain after running down his contract at Liverpool, where he’d been a key player for a number of years.
Many Reds supporters will be hugely disappointed to see Wijnaldum moving on after his great contributions to their success in recent times, but it seems the player himself had started to feel like he was being made a scapegoat.
Speaking to the Guardian, the 30-year-old made it clear that he wasn’t talking about all Liverpool fans, but mainly the ones who tend to speak up on social media.
Wijnaldum feels that his contract situation meant he was being singled out for blame after some poor performances, and it seems this may have contributed towards him deciding to leave Anfield this summer.
“I have to say also there was social media,” Wijnaldum said. “When it went bad, I was the player who they blamed – that I wanted to leave. Every day in training and in the games, I gave everything I had to bring it to a good end because, during the years, Liverpool meant so much to me and because of the way the fans in the stadium were treating me.
“My feeling was that the fans in the stadium and the fans on social media were two different kinds. The fans in the stadium always supported me. Even when they came back [after the Covid lockout], already knowing that I was going to leave, they still supported me and, in the end, they gave me a great farewell.
“On social media, if we lost, I was the one who got the blame. There was a moment when I was like: ‘Wow. If they only knew what I was doing to stay fit and play every game.’ Other players might have said: ‘OK, I am not fit.’ You get players in their last year who are like: ‘I’m not playing because it is a risk.’ I did the opposite.”
He added: “There was a story that Liverpool made an offer, I didn’t accept because I wanted more money and the fans made it like: ‘OK, he didn’t get the offer, so he doesn’t try his best to win games,’.
“Then the results were not really good and everything looked like it was against me. Some moments, it was like: ‘Wow, me again?’ It’s a collective. But my teammates never gave me the feeling that I let them down or I was taking the piss or something like that. With the team everything was fine.
“It was difficult to speak about football because every time, it was: ‘What are you going to do?’ Even my friends would read something and come to me and say: ‘Is this true? Oh, you are going to do this?’ I would say: ‘You will see what is going to happen.’ I just didn’t want to talk about it because it was: ‘My future this, my future that.’ That was basically my last season at Liverpool – the future of Gini Wijnaldum, not beautiful things on the pitch.”