Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed the presence of Jurgen Klopp convinced him to join Liverpool despite interest from Tottenham.
The Netherlands international held talks with both Mauricio Pochettino and Klopp ahead of the 2016-17 campaign as he considered his next step after a spell with Newcastle and the Liverpool manager’s interest in his life outside of football was decisive in his decision to move to Anfield.
“I had great conversations with Pochettino and Klopp, but in the meeting with Jurgen we had a laugh and did not speak only about football,” Wijnaldum told The Guardian.
“He was interested in my personal life and that was good for me. He was not only interested in Wijnaldum the footballer, but Wijnaldum the person.
“When you are not out on the football field you have to communicate as people and it is good if you know something about how the other person is. It makes things easier.
“This season I started to enjoy it as soon as I knew Liverpool really wanted to sign me, especially after the meeting with Jurgen. I came away from that with a really great feeling that I could train with a good manager, a really good team and make myself a better player.”
Klopp has guided Liverpool to second place in the Premier League table after 12 games and Wijnaldum has hailed the German’s passionate management style.
“The manager gives you confidence. He is not a manager who yells at you or gets angry with you whenever you make a mistake.
“He will only get mad if you do not do the things you are good at so, for example, [Sadio] Mane is a good player who can dribble, [Philippe] Coutinho is a good player who can dribble and if they stop doing that there is a chance he might get mad and upset because you are not using your quality.
“Against Southampton last week he wanted me to make a run. I did it but it was too late and he said something about it.
“But sometimes, if I lose the ball easily, I expect him to be angry and he is not. You can hear his voice easily enough, he is quite loud. He is really passionate and not only in the game. People might see him during a game and think that is an act. It is not an act. He is like that in training.”
Liverpool are at home to Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday.