Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that Georginio Wijnaldum has been the “architect” of the club’s recent success ahead of what could be his final game.
The midfielder became one of Klopp’s first signings at Anfield, arriving in 2016. Indeed, the coach used that summer’s transfer window to develop the spine of his team; centre-back Joel Matip and winger Sadio Mane also arrived. Mane has especially won his plaudits, but Wijnaldum has flown more under the radar.
However, as he has approached the end of his contract this term, the spotlight has fallen more on the Dutchman.
Wijnaldum has rarely missed a game in the Premier League since signing from then-relegated Newcastle. Overall, he has racked up 236 appearances in five seasons.
Amid there still being no concrete news about his future, it looks ever more likely that the 30-year-old will become a free agent. Reports have linked him with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
As such, Klopp penned his personal tribute to the midfielder in his programme notes for Sunday’s final game of the season against Crystal Palace.
Klopp said (via Twitter): “Gini Wijnaldum. An LFC legend now and forever. What this person – this wonderful, joyful, selfless person – has done for our team I cannot sum in words.
“He is the architect of our success. We’ve built this Liverpool on his legs, lungs, brain and his huge, beautiful heart.
“If – and it is still if – he goes, he does so knowing we as his teammates are eternally grateful for having this special human being come into our lives. I love him and he’ll always be family.”
Wijnaldum has continued to have a stellar impact this term. In fact, his reliability has proved more crucial this season, amid a host of injury problems for the Reds.
The midfielder has remained a stoic figure while Fabinho has suffered injury and moved to centre-back.
Furthermore, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara have also spent time on the sidelines, but he has proved a fantastic servant.
Bayern link emerges for Wijnaldum
Meanwhile, fresh reports claim that Wijnaldum could move to Bayern Munich.
The midfielder has been free to talk to and arrange pre-contracts with overseas clubs since January, hence the speculation over his future.
But while Barca and PSG have had the strongest links with a swoop, a move to the German champions remains on the cards.