GINI WIJNALDUM admits that his body was “broken” during a punishing first season at Liverpool after arriving from Newcastle.
But with boss Jurgen Klopp having splashed out £74million on midfield support this summer, the Dutchman will not be running on empty come next May.
Liverpool have the demands of Champions League football to contend with this season but Wijnaldum, 26, can handle that knowing he will get chances to put his feet up for a well-earned rest.
The arrival of Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain means there is competition for places in the middle of Liverpool’s speedy attacking force.
Wijnaldum, though, has a bring-it-on attitude after admitting that his 40 appearances on his debut season did take a heavy toll.
He said: “Last season I played almost all the games but at the end of it my body was broken. It was tough.
“But it has already changed from last year because we have so many matches we have to rest a lot.
“That, though, is what you want as a player – to play in as many competitions as you can so I’m not complaining.
“But players will get tired so if you have a big squad it’s easier to manage at the end of the season.
“Last season we didn’t have a lot of options at certain stages so that made it hard. We now have a really good team with a lot of quality.”
Wijnaldum has impressed since his arrival for £25m in July 2016 and when he scored the winner against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, second-placed Liverpool believed they were on their way to hopefully bringing back the title to Anfield.
But that campaign ended with Klopp’s side frustrated in fourth by the time May came around but Wijnaldum is confident there will not be another great fade away this time around.
Wijnaldum added: “Last season we did well in the first half but in the second half we were not really a threat to Chelsea because we lost too many games and dropped too many points.
“But everything can happen this season.
“It’s better to first compete than to say immediately we are going to win titles. If you’re not competing, you’re not allowed to think about titles.
“We will see what happens but a club like Liverpool must always try to compete to win something.”