Ex-Liverpool star who snubbed Jurgen Klopp's contract offer still an 'outstanding player'

Former Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Georginio Wijnaldum will always be a player who produces a feeling of "what could have been" – not just for Liverpool, but for the player himself.

The Dutchman was of course part of the Reds side that won the Champions League and Premier League in 2019 and 2020 respectively. His stay at Anfield wouldn’t last much longer, though, with Wijnaldum departing for Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 after his contract at Anfield expired.

Liverpool tried to keep him to no avail, with the player’s agent revealing that Wijnaldum turned down an offer from the Reds.

READ MORE: Liverpool transfer news LIVE: Eberechi Eze stance, 'big talent' close to joining, Murillo 'exit'
READ MORE: Coaching Liverpool: Arne Slot sells Luis Diaz, signs Nico Williams and makes Chelsea transfer

"He had a fantastic time at Liverpool,” Humphry Nijman told the Here We Go Podcast in 2021. "It started when we visited the house of Mr Klopp and a plan was made that they wanted to win the championship and the Champions League, and that was achieved.

"That was fantastic for the fans in Liverpool, fantastic for the manager and fantastic for the player. The player was really happy they achieved their goals. His contract was expiring so he was a free agent after this season.

"Of course, an attempt was made [to keep him at Liverpool] but he made another choice."

After leaving Liverpool, like many players in recent years, his career only went downhill. Wijnaldum struggled at PSG, leading to him heading out on loan to Roma in 2022.

Just two years after joining the French side, Wijnaldum was on the move again, this time to Saudi Arabia as he reunited with Jordan Henderson at Al-Ettifaq. Henderson would leave though after just half a season.

Georginio Wijnaldum has earned praise while with the Netherlands at Euro 2024
Georginio Wijnaldum has earned praise while with the Netherlands at Euro 2024 -Credit:Getty Images

Wijnaldum though stayed put, and even earned a place in the Netherlands squad for Euro 2024. He has appeared from the bench in all three of the Dutch’s group games, with his latest outing in the defeat to Austria earning him praise from former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock.

Georginio Wijnaldum is an outstanding player, has so many qualities,” Warnock said while commentating for BBC Radio 5 Live. “The Dutch need to go for this game. Those changes are to make sure they can press as high as they can because Micky van de Ven brings you that pace at the back.”

Wijnaldum could be set to meet two of his former Anfield teammates in the last-16 in Germany. Having finished third in Group D, the Netherlands are one of three sides who could come up against England in the first of the knockout rounds.

That would of course see current Reds stars Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo and Ryan Gravenberch face Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, meaning Arne Slot would get at least two of his players back early for pre-season.