Gini Wijnaldum talking about returning to Newcastle United
Gini Wijnaldum has been talking about returning to St James Park for tonight’ game.
Liverpool needing a win to stand any chance of winning the Premier League, as Man City lead by a point with two games each remaining.
Wijnaldum has only been back once since his £25m exit back in summer £25m, as he was one of a number of rats (Sissoko, Janmaat, Townsend etc) who demanded to leave the sinking ship after playing their part in the relegation. That game ended 1-1 at St James Park with Joselu fluking an equaliser.
However, Gini Wijnaldum reveals that it isn’t actually only the second time he will have returned to Newcastle Upon Tyne, declaring: ‘Once in a while, I go back to Newcastle because I love the city.’
It was an interesting season for the Dutch international at NUFC, scoring 11 Premier League goals, more than he has scored in three years at Liverpool – 10 so far. However, Rafa Benitez did drop him on the relegation run-in, Wijnaldum coming off the bench in the draws against Man City at home and Liverpool away.
Whilst Jurgen Klopp pushed him further up the pitch as the 3-0 defeat at Barcelona unfolded, Liverpool’s wealth of attacking talent means they usually use the former PSV captain in a more defensive midfield position.
Talking about his time at Newcastle United, Gini Wijnaldum says: ‘I only have good memories; the only bad thing is that we were relegated, but besides that I had a great time there and my family had a great time there.’
It makes you wonder just what could have happened if a manager of the ilk of Rafa Benitez had been appointed in summer 2016 and over £80m spent on the squad that season, rather than going for a failure such as Steve McClaren, happy to take the job as a desperate yes man without any say on important matters such as transfers.
Gini Wijnaldum talking to official Liverpool site:
‘So next up is Newcastle. After the game in Barcelona, a few of the lads spoke of the importance of allowing for no hangover from midweek…’
“It’s a really important game because we need to get a win there to still have a chance to be champions at the end of the season, so that’s one thing that makes it important – but also to bounce back from the defeat to Barca.
“It’s going to be really tough.
“I played there for one season and I know how they play against big teams, it always difficult for good teams to win away games there.
“I know from experience that it’s going to be really tough, so we have to be really conscious of that and give 100 per cent because otherwise it will be really difficult to win the game.”
‘As you said, Newcastle had a very solid season and can hurt teams, so it’ll be difficult…’
“They have done quite well this season, especially in the last few games. They’re winning games and I think when you analyse them, you can see they’re a really, really tough team to beat.
“Out of experience, I know how it is to play there and also to play against big teams who are coming to Newcastle to play.
“It’s quite tough to win there and it will be again for us.
“Last season when we played there, it was quite a hard game – it finished 1-1, but it was a really, really hard game.”
‘They’re a club you know well and have fond memories of…’
“I have great memories. I enjoyed the club, I enjoyed the city, I enjoyed the people, I enjoyed my teammates.
“That’s also the reason that I felt free there and I could play the way I was playing and I scored goals.
“I only have good memories; the only bad thing is that we were relegated, but besides that I had a great time there and my family had a great time there.
“Once in a while, I go back to Newcastle because I love the city.”
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