Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp discussed the difficulty of having to say goodbye to departing midfielder Gini Wijnaldum this summer.
Klopp commented on Wijnaldum’s “highest-quality ability” and named him as one of the “smartest players” he has ever coached in his career.
Wijnaldum decided to sign for Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain after they swooped in late to steal his signature ahead of Barcelona.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com about Wijnaldum’s departure, Klopp said:
“As a team, we said our goodbyes to Gini at Anfield after the final game of the season. There was the public farewell on the pitch with the guard of honour. But then a more private occasion also.
“It was difficult for all of us because of how much this astonishing person means to the group. He’s been a big part of our lives for so long. There is nothing I won’t miss about him.
“I will miss the player he is like crazy – highest-quality ability, one of the smartest players I have ever had the privilege to coach. His contribution was off the scale, a manager’s dream.
“But as a person, he’ll leave just as big a hole. A more giving individual you could not wish to meet. Gini is very strong and opinionated, but his motivation is only to help the team – always. His teammates adored him and respected him in equal measure.
“His smile lit up our workplace. He was a huge part of our beating heart.
“Of course, he is now someone else’s and on behalf of the team, we wish him great success in France with PSG. It is no surprise he’s joined such an amazing club. Knowing his personality, he will fall in love with the city and the team – and they with him.
“Farewell, Gini: you came, you saw, you won the lot. You’re a Liverpool legend now and forever.”
Before plying his trade in the French league, Wijnaldum will first represent the Netherlands in this summer’s Euros.
We wish Gini all the best in his future career and may he continue to smile and have such a hugely positive impact on all those around him.
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