‘It doesn’t matter’ - Liverpool legend brutally honest about joining Newcastle United

Georginio WIjnaldum during his Newcastle United daysGeorginio WIjnaldum during his Newcastle United days
Georginio WIjnaldum during his Newcastle United days | Getty Images
Georginio Wijnaldum spent one season at Newcastle United before joining Liverpool following relegation

Georginio Wijnaldum believes Arne Slot’s accomplishments at Feyenoord will matter little in the Premier League.

Newcastle United stumped up £14.5million to sign Wijnaldum in 2015 - one of the only times Mike Ashley splashed the cash during his 14-year reign. The Dutchman was joined by Aleksandar Mitrovic, Chancel Mbemba and Florian Thauvin as the Sports Direct tycoon looked to avoid another relegation battle.

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However, led by Steve McClaren until March, the Magpies slumped into the bottom three and, despite Rafa Benitez’s valiant efforts, relegation was sealed. Wijnaldum was a rare highlight that season, netting 11 goals in a poor Newcastle side.

Liverpool came calling the following summer and the midfielder would go on to become a club legend. Wijnadlum was instrumental in winning the Champions League five years ago and ended the Reds’ 30-year wait for the Premier League 12 months later.

However, he also acknowledged how English fans had to be won over when initially joining Newcastle. The former Toon star won the league and was crowned Dutch footballer of the year before making the St James’ Park switch.

But that mattered little upon arrival - and new Liverpool boss Slot must also prove his worth now he is in the Premier League. Wijnaldum told Algemeen Dagblad: “It doesn’t matter at all that they don’t all know him (Slot) inside and out in England. When I went from PSV to Newcastle United, I had become Dutch champion. 

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“I was already playing in the Dutch national team and we were playing European football but I didn’t think it meant anything to the people there. The Premier League is so big and so good that they don’t really look at other countries. It is a bit comparable to what I experience now playing football outside Europe. People just don’t care that much.”

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