GEORGINIO Wijnaldum has insisted that the best is yet to come for him at Liverpool but everything is in place at the club to help him realise his potential.
The Dutch international has gradually grown into his new role at Liverpool and is starting to win plaudits for the way he has adapted — though he knows he can improve further.
After signing from Newcastle for £25million in the summer, Wijnaldum has been asked to play a deeper central midfield role to what he had become accustomed to on Tyneside — despite having previously played in a deeper role for his country. However, he insists that Jürgen Klopp has given him freedom, which has helped him adapt to his new position.
“He [Klopp] doesn’t really give a lot of jobs to players. He tells me to be free and play how I can play” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“You have to look at the other players. For example, if [Adam] Lallana goes forward and [Jordan] Henderson also goes, I have to stay.
“Sometimes I have to get used to it because, normally, I’m the one who goes all the time.
“That’s the thing that has changed the most in my way of football.”
Wijnaldum is seen as a versatile player, having mainly featured in several attacking midfield positions for his past clubs, where the onus has been on him to provide the team with creativity — particularly at Newcastle where he was the club’s top scorer with 11 goals.
“In the teams where I played before, I was the one who was running all the time to make a goal and I came into more positions to make goals.
“Now it’s not so often, it’s a few times in a game. But we have more players to come into that position, so more players who can score a goal.
“I think that’s better for the team, because if you only have one player who can score goals it can be a problem.”
The Dutchman says that, despite it going well so far, he needs time to settle into his new surroundings and he still hasn’t shown all he can at the club. He is yet to score a goal for the Reds, after making the promise at the start of the season that he would score 10 this campaign — though he has contributed a lot in other aspects of the game.
“I already have a good feeling but not the feeling I will have when I’ve been at the club for a few months.
“It always takes me time but it has gone well so far, everyone is trying to help me, not only the players but also the coaches and the physios.
“I must be better and I know I can be better, because I can show a lot more than I already showed.
“That’s how it is and that’s why I have confidence and faith in my qualities — it will come. It’s a nice squad with good coaches and everything is here to be a better player.
“So I look forward to that with a lot of confidence and faith and I’m happy to be here. I feel blessed that I can be here.”
The team are on a run of four wins in all competitions and currently sit fourth in the Premier League, having won crucial away games against Arsenal and Chelsea as well as beating the champions Leicester at Anfield. Wijnaldum insists he has been pleasantly surprised by the quality within the squad, and of the young players coming through from The Academy at Kirkby.
“You can see how good the players are.
“Before this, I didn’t have a clue how good everyone is, but now that I train with them every day I can see how good everyone is — it’s a really talented group.
“And also the young players who come to the first team are talented. Everything has surprised me.”