Rio Ferdinand believes Liverpool must do all in their power to keep Georginio Wijnaldum – and the pundit has cast aside his Manchester United loyalties to declare his love for the midfielder.
Wijnaldum is in the final year of his contract at Anfield, where he has been since 2016. In that time, he has picked up medals in the Premier League and Champions League.
He remains a key player for Jurgen Klopp, but his coach may soon have to find a way to work without him. Wijnaldum will be free to negotiate with foreign clubs from January.
The future of Wijnaldum came up for debate prior to Liverpool’s Champions League win over Ajax. And Ferdinand reckons the player is massively underrated and is a hugely important player for the Reds.
“I got to be honest: I love this player,” said Ferdinand on BT Sport.
“He’s very selfless, his intelligence, he’s underrated completely because he can play every single midfield position in that central area.
“He’s plays a No.10 role for Holland, the way he defends here [for Liverpool].”
Ferdinand has explained why players such as Wijnaldum are often more appreciated by teammates than fans.
“We do get players who you play with in your career who fans probably don’t appreciate as much,” Ferdinand added.
“Because on the pitch you know how much work they’re getting through, how valuable they are.”
The Reds claimed a 1-0 victory to advance from their Champions League group thanks to Curtis Jones’ clever finish.
The result means Liverpool win their group with one game to spare, giving Klopp an opportunity to rest some players in the final match against Midtjylland next week.
That will be timely for the Reds manager given the number of injuries his side are carrying.
Klopp provides triple injury update
Indeed, going into the game, Klopp was forced into five changes from the side that drew 1-1 at Brighton.
Among those to miss out were goalkeeper Alisson, though Klopp is hopeful he could return to action after a couple of games out.
Klopp said: “Alisson doesn’t have COVID. He told us after the [Brighton] game he felt it after 60-70 minutes, his hamstring.
“He’s had a scan, a little one, but enough for today and probably another week.”
Klopp labelled Tuesday’s win over Ajax as “one of his best nights” in the Champions League.
The match threw up more injury worries, with respective ankle and back problems for Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson.
However, Klopp is keeping his fingers crossed for good news ahead of Sunday’s clash with Wolves.
“Both played through so I would say we have now two days more than we had last week so I think (they are OK),” he said.
“Things like this show up the next day a little different but in the moment I am positive about it. That is a problem for the next few days but not tonight.”
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