Georginio Wijnaldum has been killing two birds with one stone during the international break. The midfielder has been a breath of fresh air for Liverpool and Netherlands in what has been a very testing week for both his club and his country.
The victory was the Netherlands’ first in five games under new coach Frank de Boer, who has been struggling since replacing Ronald Koeman at the helm of the club.
"Of course, you are waiting for that first victory," De Boer said in the aftermath of the game, as quoted by Besoccer.
"But we had two interests today. Staying in the race for the final round of the Nations League and we are now in the World Cup qualifying in pot one. That is nice. Pot two also contains good countries, but now we are certainly avoiding the very strong countries," explained De Boer.
While Wijnaldum’s performance helped bring relief to his national team coach, Liverpool fans who were watching were left in awe when the midfielder paid tribute to the injured Virgil van Dijk while celebrating both of his goals.
Wijnaldum put his right hand under his chin and wiggled his fingers as he mimicked van Dijk's goal celebration. The Liverpool defender is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering an ACL injury during the Merseyside Derby.
The international break hasn’t been good to Liverpool at all. While other clubs have seen their players do well with their national teams, the majority of Liverpool' first-team stars have returned to the club with injuries.
Liverpool players have dealt multiple injury issues during the international break
Before the international break, Jurgen Klopp had to contend with injuries to Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara. The German manager has been even more frustrated by injuries in the last week.
Joe Gomez pulled out of the England squad due to injury, while Andy Robertson is also set for tests after sustaining at sprain while with the Scotland national team.
Talismanic forward Mohamed Salah has also tested positive for COVID-19 while on duty with the Egyptian national team. All of Liverpool’s first-choice defenders are also are out injured.
Football, though, is a merciless sport and Premier League clubs will be salivating at the prospect of taking on a depleted Liverpool side in the coming weeks. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Klopp’s Liverpool team.
Wijnaldum has begun adding goals to his game and his impressive performances offer some positives in a week that has been far from ideal for Liverpool, its manager and fans.Published 16 Nov 2020, 19:14 IST