MX23RW : Thursday, February 21 08:45:38

Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on "brilliant" Georginio Wijnaldum

Klopp heaps praise on
© Reuters
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp talks up the importance of Georginio Wijnaldum to his side following his performance in the 1-0 win over Brighton at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has talked up the importance of Georginio Wijnaldum to his side's perfect start to the season.

Wijnaldum has started all three of Liverpool's Premier League games so far this term, keeping captain Jordan Henderson and summer signing Fabinho out of the team in the process.

The Dutch international was one of the standout performers of Liverpool's 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, and Klopp praised the versatility of the midfielder.

"The situation was clear from the beginning. Hendo would not have a big break and Fabinho would need time to settle in, so it was always clear that Gini would be in the mix for that position. He can play both," Klopp told reporters.

"He was brilliant in pre-season as the eight. He was good as the six but brilliant as the eight. That's why we never had any doubts about that. They all have different characteristics in that role but if we don't defend as a team neither Hendo, Fabinho or Gini can play the role very well because the space is just too big. It's not possible. If we defend well, then it is all fine. Gini is a good footballer, the other two are as well.

"It is only important that you have this kind of mindset that you can cool yourself down in different situations, that you don't follow the ball or offer runs in behind when we have enough players to do that. We need a few reasonable persons on the pitch, if you want, and Gini can switch from one mindset to the other and that is pretty good for us."

Wijnaldum completed 75 of his 76 passes during the win over Brighton, with the solitary misplaced one coming in the 80th minute.


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An understated Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League game between Liverpool and West Ham United on August 12, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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