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Gini Wijnaldum hailed as “LFC legend” in heartfelt tribute before potential last match

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Gini Wijnaldum has received glowing tributes from both Jordan Henderson and Jurgen Klopp for his “immense” contribution on and off the field, on what may be his last day in Liverpool colours.

The Dutchman’s future is yet to be resolved but all signs point to a summer exit on a free transfer after five seasons at Anfield.

Wijnaldum has been a key cog in Jurgen Klopp’s red machine since he arrived, a figure of consistency the No. 5 has only failed to feature in just 29 of the 265 games played from 2016/17 onwards.

Not a flashy player, what Wijnaldum does for the side can often go unnoticed and underappreciated, but not for his captain and manager.

After five years and four major trophies, Henderson was not short on words for his midfield partner, hailing his “wonderful teammate” in his notes for the official programme for today’s game just in case he is not to return at the end of the summer.

“The situation with Gini Wijnaldum is a bit more complicated as he will shortly be out of contract and that’s an issue for him to resolve one way or another, but it’s clearly possible that today’s game could be his last for Liverpool,” Henderson wrote.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 31, 2016: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum celebrate at the final whistle after his side beat Manchester City 1-0 during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“If it is – and even if it isn’t – everyone who holds this club dear should acknowledge the role that Gini has played in everything that we have achieved in recent seasons.

“His contribution has been immense and having played alongside him in midfield so many times I know better than most just how much of a difference he has made to us every single time he has worn a red shirt.

“I don’t just respect Gini, I am hugely grateful to him. He is a Premier League winner, a Champions League winner, a UEFA Super Cup winner and a FIFA Club World Cup winner. More than that, he is a wonderful teammate and a magnificent leader. It’s been a privilege to play alongside him.”

Similarly, glowing words were bestowed by Klopp for a player who has been “an architect of our success.”

“I must recognise him just in case this is his Anfield farewell,” Klopp penned in his respective pre-match notes.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 31, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) and Georginio Wijnaldum after the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gini Wijnaldum. An LFC legend now and forever. What this person – this wonderful, joyful, selfless person – has done for our team and club I cannot sum up in words in truth because my English is not good enough.

“He is an architect of our success. We have built this Liverpool on his legs, lungs, brain and his huge, beautiful heart.

“If – and it is still is if – he goes, he does so knowing we as his teammates are eternally grateful for having this special human being come into our lives.

“I love him and he will always be family.”


* You can order a copy of the Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace programme or subscribe here.

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