After all, he’s a player who admitted as recently as March that leaving after five years would leave him “devastated.”
“It will be difficult but on the other side, you don’t know the situation and why you have to leave, so it all depends on the situation,” he said at the time.
“But I’ll be devastated not to play for this team again for sure. “
One of the most beloved and respected players in the dressing room, Wijnaldum’s calm nature belies an influence and importance that has seen him installed as one of the ‘management groups’ of the squad.
Alongside skipper Jordan Henderson, James Milner and his Dutch colleague Virgil van Dijk, Wijnaldum is part of a quartet of captains for Klopp.
His stint with the armband in the latter stages of the season was not due to a feeling of romance on the part of his manager.
He is a player whose 237th and final appearance in his career at Liverpool on Sunday was his 51st of the campaign.
This statistic alone lays bare his worth to Klopp, despite his contract days dwindling.
There is also no indication that the Reds boss was a key figure behind the fate of Wijnaldum’s Anfield future.
On the other hand, Klopp was desperate to keep him at the club.
“He is the architect of our success. We built this Liverpool on their legs, their lungs, their brains and their huge, beautiful heart, ”Klopp said on the eve of Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
“I love him and he will always be family. “
Wijnaldum himself has confirmed his desire to stay after his emotional honor guard at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
He said, “I’m fighting back tears right now.
“The people of Liverpool have shown me love during these five years. I will miss them.
“I hope I have played for the club for many years, but unfortunately things have changed. “
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So with the manager and the player keen to keep the status quo, why exactly is Wijnaldum leaving the club?
It seems strange that Liverpool are happy to lose a Champions League and Premier League winning international at the age of 30.
Especially when you factor in the football he played under Klopp last season.
No other player in the eight-person Klopp engine room featured as much in Liverpool’s midfielder as iron man Wijnaldum last season.
But having been tied to the same terms since July 2016, there was a school of thought that suggested that the Wijnaldum camp believed that any new deal should pay it much more than it was.
Having seen virtually every member of the first team sign new contracts during his time at Anfield, this thinking is probably right on Wijnaldum’s part.
But talks with Barcelona this week have turned the story into why the Reds are ready to lose the all-round midfielder.
Wijnaldum’s agent Humphry Nijman and legal adviser Jan Kabalt arrived in Barcelona on Tuesday to start talks on a three-year deal.
It is surely the length of the proposed contract with the La Liga giants that explains why the Dutchman is leaving Liverpool.
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At a time when the Reds face losses of around £ 120million from the coronavirus pandemic, offering a player north of 30 improved conditions and three more years may not make sense .
From a football standpoint, Wijnaldum’s production has remained strong, but Liverpool’s tough business side, etched by their owners, Fenway Sports Group, offers some idea of why such a vital cog in the machine is allowed to move away. .
However, the caution of that move won’t be known until a potential replacement is of equal importance at Anfield.