LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 3, 2021: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum walks off as he is substituted during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Brighton & Hove Albion won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

‘Current situation would not happen with fans in stadium’ – Gini Wijnaldum

Gini Wijnaldum has mixed thoughts over how much Liverpool have been affected by the absence of supporters this year, but is certain they’d help the Reds out right now.

It’s an argument which has been made many times: all clubs are without fans, so they are all affected equally.

That, of course, has merit – but then, some clubs lean on their support, the atmosphere in home games and the intimidation of the opposition more than others.

Equally, there are surely managers around at present whose style of play would be being berated by fans, were they in place, and so are leveraging the time and space afforded by their absence.

For Wijnaldum, speaking to reporters ahead of the Champions League game with RB Leipzig, he intimated that there was a limited impact initially, but now in the Reds’ toughest moment of the campaign, their presence would have a much bigger impact to help a return to winning ways.

“I think it affected us a bit, not a lot.

“I believe the things are happening to us right now would happen if there were fans in the stadium, because the fans as you know help us through difficult times, they help you get over it and give even more energy.

“But if it really affected us in the way that we cannot get results without fans, I don’t think that way.

“Of course they make us stronger, no-one can deny it, but I think we can do better even without fans in the stadium.

“I’m sure and everyone is with me that the situation wouldn’t happen with the fans.”

Gini was also asked about his contract and future but reiterated the “no news” update and stressed that getting back on track with results for the team was the most important factor he could focus on.

“The only thing I can say is I’m really happy at the club, with the team, the staff and the fans for who I play,” he said.

“It’s not that I’m not happy or that I have to leave or something like that, but it’s not as easy as everyone thinks it is to make some decisions for your future. You have to think about everything, negotiate with the club and those kinds of things.

“It’s difficult to deal with all kinds of things and that’s why it takes so long.”

With the No. 5 out of contract in the summer, it does appear to be inching towards an inevitable departure.

The Reds will undoubtedly have to undergo some form of a restructure to the playing squad after this horrific second half of the campaign, and Gini might only be the first of several who departs.

As he rightly says, though, the focus right now must be on a return to winning ways, not on being handed bigger contracts when the Reds are on the verge of not returning to the Champions League next season.