Dirk Kuyt has hailed his fellow countryman Georginio Wijnaldum after the midfielder recently found himself on the Liverpool bench.
The Holland star has made 39 appearances this season and he has been an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s table-topping side, but he has found himself on the bench in the last two games.
Wijnaldum was a subbed in the win at Southampton and he was then left on the bench at home to Porto, while on Sunday he got just 24 minutes of action after replacing Naby Keita on 66 minutes.
Former Liverpool striker Kuyt, who was the ultimate team player during his time at Anfield, believes Wijnaldum’s mindset needs praising.
“What I also like is the fantastic mentality of Wijnaldum,” Kuyt told De Telegraaf. “Before the kick-off I saw his eyes.
“You felt the disappointment that he was not playing, but when you see how professional he was before, during and after the game, you get more admiration for him. That’s how you should be a pro.
“The final sprint becomes so important. Yet Gini deals with that in a great way. He falls in, he does his work and celebrates with his fellow players as it should be. A real team player. ”
Wijnaldum’s role at Liverpool has changed after arriving from Newcastle as an attacking midfielder.
“That happens very often with work from a midfielder,” said Jurgen Klopp last year.
“Gini I know is a brilliant player, but for an attacking wide midfielder role, the split second speed how they play today, maybe he doesn’t have that exactly.
“But he is creative, he is good with the ball, he can pick the pass, he’s good with that stuff, he has a good view of the play (and how it unfolds) it is all there that you need. He can jump to the roof!
“He is really physically strong and so that is a really good position for him (number six), but yeah, we had two days training – kind of! – and we can not constantly train with XI v XI to give him the opportunity to get used to that position.”