Kop favourite reveals Liverpool were watching Wijnaldum for years
By Harvey Byrne
Liverpool favourite and former Dutch international Dirk Kuyt has revealed that the Reds had been watching Georginio Wijnaldum when he was still at the club.
The Newcastle star looks set to finalise a £25million move to Anfield and Kuyt, who played for Liverpool for six years between 2006 to 2012, has revealed that scouts of the club had been talking about him then.
The Magpies man will become the seventh Dutchman to represent Liverpool following Sander Westerveld, Eric Meijer, Ryan Babel, Jan Kromkamp, Boudewijn Zenden and Kuyt, with the latter being full of praise for Wijnaldum.
“(It is) a wonderful transfer for Gini. The best compliment for him was that his name in my time at Liverpool buzzed inside the club,” Kuyt told the Liverpool Echo.
“He was watched by the scouts already in his youth days at Feyenoord as a very great talent. When I played for Liverpool, I heard them frequently say that he would be a wonderful asset one day.
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“He eventually ended up at PSV and Newcastle, before moving to Anfield. He is now at a top club in England and he’ll be at home.”
Kuyt starred for Liverpool in 285 encounters during his time at the club and won the love of many fans due to his high work rate.
The former Netherlands international has starred alongside Wijnaldum in the national side many times including performances together at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Kuyt was also at Feyenoord while the attacking midfielder was breaking through the youth ranks, although he left for Liverpool a year before Wijnaldum made his senior debut.
Wijnaldum moved to Tyneside last summer from PSV Eindhoven in a £14.5million deal, and quickly became the driving force behind the Magpies’ survival hopes.
Wijnaldum bagged 11 goals and five assists in 40 games in all competitions last season, and was also the subject of interest from Tottenham and Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton.
Fans of the Reds will be hoping that the ex-Newcastle man has as good a career as Kuyt did at Anfield.
In other Liverpool transfer news, Reds defender Jon Flanagan looks like he is weighing up an offer to join Burnley.