As Liverpool take on Tottenham this afternoon, Georginio Wijnaldum is lining up for Jurgen Klopp's men.
According to the Dutch midfielder, however, he could have been in the white of Spurs this season after deciding to leave Newcastle after just one year at St. James.
Speaking to Dutch football magazine Voetbal International in an in-depth interview ahead of the Saturday fixture, Wijnaldum explained the one key factor that saw him turn down north London for Merseyside.
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"I went to Mauricio Pochettino’s house before I spoke to Liverpool. After the meeting I told my agent ‘I’m going to join Spurs’," the Dutchman explained, via The Sun, before waxing lyrical about the Spurs boss.
“Pochettino is a terrific manager, if you look at the way his teams play. I was impressed with what he had to say."
Despite seeing Tottenham as an ideal move, however, Wijnaldum ultimately turned down the transfer after failing to agree financial terms.
"I saw Spurs as being a very good fit for me — but we were unable to agree financial terms with them...With hindsight, though, that was not a disaster.”
It wasn't just the money on offer that turned the 26-year-old towards a £25 million move to Liverpool, however. According to Wijnaldum, while Pochettino was a good fit, Jurgen Klopp was even better.
"Pochettino was terrific but then Jurgen Klopp made me feel even more relaxed," he said.
“From the moment I first spoke with him I knew that I wanted to join Liverpool. I fell for Klopp — hook, line and sinker."
Almost every player who players under Klopp talks about his excellent man management, and ability to get on well with his squad.
His enthusiasm here clearly helped convince Wijnaldum to make the move to Merseyside in the summer, and the midfielder will be looking to continue a solid start to life at Anfield with a strong performance against a team he very nearly joined.
After hearing how close he was to signing this summer, Spurs fans will be hoping for exactly the opposite this afternoon.
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