Gini Wijnaldum admits he spoke to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino before joining Liverpool from Newcastle two years ago.
The 27-year-old moved from St James’ Park to Anfield in July 2016 on a five-year contract for an initial £23m fee but not before he sounded out the Spurs boss.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph ahead of Liverpool’s match against Tottenham on Saturday live on Sky Sports the Netherlands international said: “I met Pochettino when I left Newcastle. I just felt Liverpool wanted to come to an agreement quickly.
“Tottenham have shown over the years the quality of their players and manager.
“I see Tottenham as a team like us, wanting to play good football. They are always looking for solutions in the game and play as we do.
“That’s why people say this is a ‘big game’. In the situation we are in, they say it makes it bigger.”
Wijnaldum missed last year’s 4-1 defeat against Spurs at Wembley with a knee injury but he remembers the match well.
“Not a good day,” he recalled. “I like Tottenham as a team – Dembele, Eriksen, Son, Alli. I could name them all. We are in a similar situation, trying to chase the team at the top.”