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Euro 2020 - Why did Georginio Wijnaldum leave Liverpool?

Georginio Wijnaldum
(Image credit: PA)

Georginio Wijnaldum was one of the standout performers in the group stage of the European Championship.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo scored more goals than the Netherlands midfielder, who found the net three times in three games.

Wijnaldum helped his country amass nine points out of nine in Group C to set up a last-16 tie with Czech Republic.

He has excelled in a more advanced midfield role than Premier League viewers have been accustomed to.

Frank de Boer has employed a 3-5-2 formation, with Wijnaldum given the license to push forward and join the attack.

The system was controversial among Dutch supporters and players, who favoured a more traditional 4-3-3 system, but De Boer's decision was vindicated by the Netherlands' displays in the group phase of Euro 2020.

It will be interesting to see if Wijnaldum fulfils a similar function at PSG next season.

The Dutchman will complete his move to the Parc des Princes on July 1 following the expiration of his Liverpool contract.

Despite seemingly wanting to extend his stay at Anfield, Wijnaldum was unable to agree a deal with the club.

Reports suggest that Liverpool were only willing to offer the midfielder a two-year deal, while Wijnaldum was holding out for a contract until 2024.

Liverpool have strict rules over what they will offer to players over the age of 30, and they refused to budge despite Wijnaldum's ongoing importance to the team.

Jurgen Klopp paid an emotional tribute to the Premier League and Champions League winner after his final appearance in a Liverpool shirt.

“I met this wonderful player for the first time – we played, obviously, against him – in my living room at home. I had to see him and talk to him," Klopp said.

“From the first moment it clicked between us, he’s a very friendly, very smart, very open person and that never changed, it just improved since then.

“Yes, it’s very emotional for me, because I lose a friend and we’ll miss him. That’s how it is.

“But it’s normal in football that these kinds of things happen. Not nice, but normal. I’m really sure he will find a great place.”