Premier League • England

Wijnaldum hints Pochettino’s PSG lack trait Klopp has mastered at Liverpool

Georginio Wijnaldum PSG v Lille, October 2021

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has admitted that the team’s identity is one difference he has noticed since leaving Liverpool.

The 30-year-old departed Anfield in the summer following the expiry of his contract. As a result, he formed part of a headline-making free transfer spree for PSG.

However, those signings have not hit their heights so far. Indeed, Sergio Ramos has yet to play after signing from Real Madrid. What’s more, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is battling with Keylor Navas for game time.

Lionel Messi has scored three goals in eight games but has struggled for consistency. Likewise, Wijnaldum has not enjoyed the same crucial role he had under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

He has only played 86 minutes in the Champions League and played 90 minutes twice in 11 Ligue 1 games.

Speaking at a press conference, Wijnaldum opened up on the differences he has noticed since moving to France.

“In Liverpool we knew each other well, we formed the same team for five years,” the Netherlands international said (via the Daily Mirror).

“We had our identity, it was different. The style of play too. Here, I think the coach prefers when we rotate, when we do not keep the same position.

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“In Liverpool we were together for five years and here it’s a new team, I have to get used to my teammates, this is our first season together.”

Klopp’s favoured midfield with Wijnaldum at the helm saw the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho play alongside him regularly.

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Now, though, PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino likes to utilise Ander Herrera, Danilo Pereira and Idrissa Gueye, who have all had prominent roles this term.

Pochettino also has Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes, who have faced recent injury problems.

Wijnaldum calls for PSG patience

PSG midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum holding up four fingers 2021

“As I said, the Liverpool team have played for years together,” Wijnaldum added when asked if he has spotted any similarities between his old and new team-mates.

“We made a lot of progress and evolved before winning the Champions League.

“Here at PSG, it looks like my first season in Liverpool; we discover each other. The most important thing is to get used to the players. It’s hard to compare these two teams.”

Wijnaldum admitted last month that his lack of game time is “not what I wanted” when he first signed.

PSG and Liverpool are both in Champions League action on Wednesday. The French side face RB Leipzig, while Liverpool play Atletico Madrid.