Georginio Wijnaldum had promised to explain his reasons for leaving Liverpool. After all, when he said tearful goodbye to Anfield in May, he admitted he wanted to stay put.

“There were times when I didn’t feel loved and appreciated there,” he told reporters via Zoom during his unveiling at Paris Saint-Germain. “Not by my teammates, not by the folks at Melwood. I know they all loved me and I loved them. It wasn’t on that side. More on the other side.

By ‘the other side’, the Dutch midfielder was referring to the owners of Fenway Sports Group, who have not fought particularly hard to prevent him from leaving as a free agent this summer. They were reluctant to give a lucrative long extension to a player who turns 31 in November.

Having been an integral part of Champions League and Premier League glory in recent years, Wijnaldum felt he never got the contract offering his continued importance to Jurgen Klopp’s deserved side. It clearly stings again – despite his enthusiasm to embark on a new challenge under Mauricio Pochettino in the French capital.

Yet it was his comments on how the social media abuse he was subjected to during a turbulent last season at Anfield fueled this feeling of being unloved, which made headlines.

Wijnaldum’s contract stalemate with the club meant he was a lightning rod for critics from a boisterous minority online when Liverpool’s season imploded after the start of the year before rallying late to save qualifying of the Champions League.

“When it went wrong I was the player they blamed – (saying) I wanted to leave,” he said. “Every day in training and in the game, I gave everything I had.


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