Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed he rejected advances from Tottenham Hotspur in order to join Liverpool. He made a switch to Anfield from Newcastle United for £25m ($31.2m) earlier in July.
The Dutch international signed for the Tyneside club in the summer of 2015 and was one of the few star players at St James’ Park. However, Newcastle’s poor run saw them being relegated to the Championship, which forced the midfielder to leave the Magpies.
The Merseyside club and the north London outfit were both after his services. Wijnaldum held talks with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino before deciding his next move.
However, the former Borussia Dortmund manager’s interest in the Rotterdam-born midfielder’s personal and professional life was sufficient for him to snub Tottenham for Liverpool.
“I had great conversations with [Mauricio] Pochettino and Klopp,” Wijnaldum told The Guardian.
“But in the meeting with Jürgen we had a laugh and did not speak only about football. He was interested in my personal life and that was good for me. He was not only interested in Wijnaldum the footballer but Wijnaldum the person.
“When you’re not out on the football field you have to communicate as people and it is good if you know something about how the other person is. It makes things easier.”
The Dutchman has been a regular for Liverpool this season and has made 11 Premier League appearances. He scored in the Reds’ 6-1 crushing win over Watford and has two assists to his name.
Not only Wijnaldum, but even Liverpool are off to a flying start this term. They are second in the table with 27 points, one point behind leaders Chelsea. However, the ex-Newcastle man has issued a warning to his teammates not to get carried away in the early stages of the season.
“There is no chance of us getting carried away. That comes from the manager. Even if we have played a good game he still wants to work on the things that didn’t go so well,” he stressed.
“Every time you have to give 100%. It’s the same every week and in every training session. Every exercise we do he asks us to do it at 100% and never less.”