Former Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has joined AS Roma on loan from French giants Paris Saint-Germain. However, the Dutch international has revealed that it was his teammate from Liverpool, Mohamed Salah and Kevin Strootman from Holland who convinced him to move to Roma.
Both Salah and Strootman were teammates at Roma from 2015 to 2017. Wijnaldum, who left Anfield last summer has opened up about his decision to join PSG and now Roma on loan. He enjoyed a remarkable five-year-stint with the Reds, making 237 appearances and lifting the Premier League title and the Champions League trophy.
Gini Wijnaldum consulted ‘three’ players before linking up with Mourinho at Roma
Wijnaldum left Liverpool for PSG after failing to reach a contract extension with the club. He became one of the Parisians’ many lucrative signings they made last summer which included Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Achraf Hakimi and Gigi Donnarumma. However, he failed to cement his place in the midfield for PSG, making only 18 starts in the Ligue 1.
He opted to be on the move once again this summer, with Roma showing up first to snap him up. Roma had already won the lottery by landing free agents Paulo Dybala and Nemanja Matic, and now comes the addition of Wijnaldum. The 31-year-old has now revealed how he talked about moving to Stadio Olimpico with his former teammate Salah and Strootman.
Speaking in a presser about his decision to sign for Roma, Gini Wijnaldum revealed, “I wanted to come because of the effort the club made to sign me and because I spoke to Mo Salah and Kevin Strootman about the club and the city and I only heard good stories about it.
“We played once with Liverpool and the atmosphere was amazing. I knew I’d play for a club with beautiful supporters, it was the only thing that I knew. What convinced me the most was the effort Tiago Pinto [Roma Sporting Director] put in to sign me. I felt wanted and appreciated and that made me make the decision.”
He further disclosed about one more player he consulted before putting pen to paper on the Roma deal. Wijnaldum also took advice from his PSG teammate Achraf Hakimi, who played in Italy with Inter Milan for one season.
“I also spoke to Achraf Hakimi, even if he played for Inter. He said that Roma is a beautiful club. That convinced me a lot also because I knew the club,” said Gini Wijnaldum. He will now remain with the Italian side until the summer of 2023, and could also make his move permanent since PSG have included a buy-option. Wijnaldum’s PSG deal expires in 2024, which seems highly unlikely he fulfills.