Jurgen Klopp refused to say whether Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace will be Georginio Wijnaldum’s last in a Liverpool shirt.
The midfielder has proved one of manager Klopp’s best signings since he arrived from Newcastle. In his time on Merseyside, he has been one of the most consistent stars in the team, rarely missing for any reason. However, his exit is becoming ever more likely as the season draws to a close.
Wijnaldum‘s contract runs out at the end of next month, but there has been little movement over his plans, even up to this late stage.
“It’s not the first time that we had situations like that, the boys did always well. The boys are incredible characters. It’s one thing to know about the future and exactly what will happen,” the manager told his pre-match press conference (via the Liverpool Echo).
“The boys are used to being in negotiations. Gini’s character is absolutely out of question. Sensational guy, sensational guy.
“He’s completely committed to the club and the team until the final day and we will see when that will be.”
However, Klopp did confirm one impending exit from the club – that of their long-serving kit man. Graham Carter originally joined the club in the 1970s as a coach driver, before joining Gerard Houllier’s team in 1999.
“We will say goodbye to Graham Carter,” the manager added. That will definitely happen, that we say goodbye to Graham Carter – kit man for 35, or even more, years at the club.
“The best kit man I ever had; we have a really good one here, but the most experienced kit man I ever had. Father figure, grandfather figure, whatever you want.
“We will say goodbye to him in an appropriate way.”
Should Sunday’s season finale be Wijnaldum’s last game too, the 30-year-old will get a fitting send-off with 10,000 fans allowed back inside Anfield.
The Reds, like many Premier League clubs, last had supporters present in December.
Klopp subsequently used the pre-match press conference to send a message to the lucky ones who have tickets.
Klopp’s message to Liverpool fans
“I would like to use the opportunity to welcome them all. You cannot imagine how much I’m looking forward to seeing you all again, at least 10,000 of you,” he said.
“But it’s really important that with all the excitement we feel, that we don’t lose patience after a minute or something like that.
“We need the best support possible, very positive, very encouraging, like we left each other, I don’t know when – years it feels like.
“We fight for Champions League, it will be [an] intense game.
“Let’s go with all we have plus 10,000 positive, crazy people in the stadium. I can’t wait.”
Liverpool must beat Palace to ensure they keep their place in the top four. They could still miss out then, but Leicester would have to overturn at least a four-goal swing in goal difference.
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