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‘Leaving Liverpool was my biggest regret’ – Wijnaldum given transfer warning by fellow Dutch star Babel

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The former Reds winger has drawn on his own experiences at Anfield while weighing in on the speculation surrounding his compatriot’s future 

Georginio Wijnaldum has been given a transfer warning by fellow Dutch star Ryan Babel, who has admitted that leaving Liverpool is the “biggest regret” of his career.

Wijnaldum is being heavily linked with a move away from Anfield after entering the final six months of his current contract.

The 30-year-old is free to negotiate with any potential suitors in the winter market having yet to receive an extension offer from the Reds, with Barcelonacurrently being mooted as his most likely next destination.

Wijnaldum has played a key role in Liverpool’s return to the top under Jurgen Klopp, scoring 20 goals in 209 appearances across all competitions. 22 of those outings have come in the first half of the 2020-21 campaign, with the Netherlands international helping the Reds qualify for the Champions Leagueknockout stages again and hold onto first place in the Premier League.

Babel has drawn from his own experiences on Merseyside to advise his fellow countryman over his next move, admitting that the grass wasn’t greener for him after his Liverpool departure in 2011.

The 34-year-old told The Mirror when quizzed on Wijnaldum’s current situation: “I spent almost four years at ­Liverpool under Rafa Benitez and Kenny Dalglish. When I left to go and play in Germany, where TSG ­Hoffenheim had become a big force, it was to become the ­biggest regret of my career.

“The only reason I left was because I wanted to have more playing minutes to keep my place in the Holland team, but you don’t realise how dominating the playing style is at Liverpool until you play in a different team and league.

“I was brought up with really attacking football at Ajax. In the academy, you learn to play that way. When I moved to ­Liverpool, it was exactly the same. It is in the DNA of the club to play attacking football.”

The former Reds winger added on the fond memories he has of his time at Anfield: “I loved every ­minute I was at Liverpool. ­Fortunately, Dirk Kuyt was at Liverpool and he was a massive support to me. As a Liverpool player, you are always in the spotlight. The club is massive.

“Scoring the winning goal against Manchester United at Anfield was the highlight of my time.”

Wijnaldum will be back in contention for a place in Klopp’s line up when Liverpool take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Monday night.

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