Wijnaldum was near his very best as the Reds put the European-chasing Wolves to the sword at Anfield, with 2,000 supporters in attendance for the first time in the best part of a year.
Also watching on was Van Dijk, who took his place behind the substitutes’ bench along with the likes of James Milner, Rhys Williams and Vitezslav Jaros, who were not part of the squad but were present to back their team-mates.
Van Dijk spoke to the squad in the dressing room prior to kickoff, and had a specific request from his fellow Dutchman, who has been emulating the centre-back’s celebration every time he scores during his long layoff.
After firing the second in a four-goal thrashing of Wolves, Wijnaldum wheeled away pointing to Van Dijk in the stands, and speaking to LFCTV after the game, he revealed their conversation:
“I said that every goal that I score this year, I’m going to dedicate to him.
“We all miss him. It was great to have him back.
“He said to me in the dressing room ‘I want to see something today, I want a goal’, so I said ‘no problem!’.”
Wijnaldum was starting his 11th consecutive game in the space of five weeks on Sunday night, but the midfielder – whose performance has led to heightened calls for a new contract – insisted he is “loving playing games”:
“I’m loving playing games, I’m loving playing games for Liverpool, for this team.
“I’m lucky, I’m blessed that I’m fit until now. I’m just enjoying the moment.
“I can also look like, yeah we play a lot of games, it’s hard and difficult, but I try to look on the bright side of it.
“You can play a lot of games, because we’re all footballers to play games. So I just enjoy it.”
Wijnaldum was joined on the scoresheet by Mohamed Salah and Joel Matip, with Sadio Mane denied a goal of his own after his scramble to convert Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s cross eventually led to a Nelson Semedo own goal.
A performance for the fans, we’ve missed you ?? pic.twitter.com/twlSWgUERj
Hope you enjoyed that one reds ? great feeling to have our 12th man back at Anfield. pic.twitter.com/6y13jOsa5n
Back with a win and fans at Anfield. Perfect. ?? pic.twitter.com/Z6RKlqv1f0
Glad to have the fans back at home. Great performance and a special night for everybody. Let's go! ??? pic.twitter.com/6US01zmlGz
Hope you all enjoyed that one! +3 ? on to the next…… pic.twitter.com/yjjUKA3EVV
There was also praise from a host of those absent, including Thiago, who has been lesser-spotted during his long time on the sidelines with a knee injury:
What a team!! Great to se the fans back at home! ??? https://t.co/cYBAwPENsr
After that it is an away clash with Fulham, with Jurgen Klopp eager to keep up momentum as the Reds push through a difficult time with injuries and a ridiculous schedule.