The Dutch international says Mauricio Pochettino played a key role in convincing him to move to the Parc des Princes
Georginio Wijnaldum has explained his decision to join Paris Saint-Germain after months of strong ties with La Liga giants Barcelona.
PSG officially announced the signing of Wijnaldum on Thursday, with the midfielder’s move to the Parc des Princes due to end when his contract with Liverpool expires at the end of the month.
Barcelona were initially hailed as favorites to land Wijnaldum on a free transfer, but he has ultimately decided to embark on the next phase of his Ligue 1 career, citing Mauricio Pochettino as a major influence.
What has been said?
The Dutchman, who won the Premier League and Champions League during his five-year tenure at Anfield, says the former Tottenham manager, who replaced Thomas Tuchel at PSG in December, contacted him in person to convince him to join the French clothes.
“I’m happy to be a member of a club like Paris Saint-Germain,” said Wijnaldum in his first official interview at the Parc des Princes. “It’s obviously a club with really good players, a good manager who spoke to me before I came to the club. We know each other from years ago.
“As a football player you will always play with the best players around you, and when I look at the team and also when I talked to the manager, I saw a team full of talented players and great players.
“And on top of that, I also saw a manager who can make the players even better and also able to bring all these players together to create a strong, strong team. I come here and try to write history with this incredible team. “
The bigger picture
It has been reported that PSG’s three-year contract offer was far more lucrative than Barca’s willingness to extradite Wijnaldum, but he may also have a better chance of conquering Europe again with Pochettino’s side.
Barca have not progressed beyond the Champions League quarter-finals in two years, but PSG reached their first ever final in 2019-20 before reaching the semi-finals again last season.
“Hopefully my help can help the team win the Champions League, that would be great,” Wijnaldum added. “But not just the Champions League, it’s also about the league and the Cup. You just want to win as much as possible for the club and the fans.”