Jurgen Klopp has lauded the impact Georginio Wijnaldum had during his time at Liverpool, describing him as a club legend and one of the smartest players he’s ever coached.
The Dutchman’s departure from Anfield was confirmed after the Reds’ win over Crystal Palace on the final day of the 2020/21 season, but it’s taken some time to announce where his next destination would be.
Now, after months of speculation, Paris Saint-Germain have won the race to sign Wijnaldum on a mega money three-year deal – stealing in late to fend off long-standing interest from La Liga giants Barcelona.
With his future resolved, Liverpool posted a number of tributes to Wijnaldum on their official website, as well as a new interview with Klopp. Unsurprisingly, the German was keen to lavish praise on the 30-year-old for his contributions, while describing the immense void his Anfield departure will leave.
“It was difficult for all of us because of how much this astonishing person means to the group,” Klopp said. “He’s been a big part of our lives for so long. There is nothing I won’t miss about him.
“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. His contribution was off the scale, a manager’s dream.
“But as a person he’ll leave just as big a hole. A more giving individual you could not wish to meet. Gini is very strong and opinionated, but his motivation is only to help the team – always. His teammates adored him and respected him in equal measure. His smile lit up our workplace. He was a huge part of our beating heart.
“Of course, he is now someone else’s and on behalf of the team we wish him great success in France with PSG. It is no surprise he’s joined such an amazing club. Knowing his personality, he will fall in love with the city and the team – and they with him.
“Farewell, Gini: you came, you saw, you won the lot. You’re a Liverpool legend now and forever.”