Wijnaldum warned 'leaving Liverpool was my biggest regret' by Babel

Georginio Wijnaldum is warned ‘quitting Liverpool was my biggest regret’ by Holland team-mate Ryan Babel as midfielder weighs up whether to leave Jurgen Klopp’s side on a free transfer this summer

  • Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel warned Gini Wijnaldum not to leave the club
  • Babel joined Liverpool in 2007, but left after four years to join TSG ­Hoffenheim
  • He believes Wijnaldum will miss the ‘dominating’ style of Liverpool if he leaves
  • Wijnaldum has been linked with a transfer as he is tempted by a fresh challenge

Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has warned Georginio Wijnaldum not to leave the club after saying his decision to move from Anfield was the ‘biggest regret of his career’. 

Babel spent four years at Liverpool after joining in the summer of 2007 – scoring 22 goals in 146 games – before leaving to join TSG ­Hoffenheim in Germany.

Speaking from his own experience, Babel believes Wijnaldum – whose contract at Liverpool runs out next summer – would miss the ‘dominating’ style of the Merseyside club.      

Georginio Wijnaldum has been linked with move from Liverpool as looks for a new challenge

Babel told The Mirror: ‘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.

Ex-Reds winger and Holland team-mate Ryan Babel (middle) warned Wijnaldum not to leave

Babel (above) says his decision to move from Anfield was the ‘biggest regret of his career’

‘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.’

Since arriving in 2016 in a £25m move from Newcastle, Wijnaldum has been central to a side that has reached two Champions League finals – winning one. 

He also played an instrumental role in finally bringing an end to Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a Premier League title.

Wijnaldum contributed 20 goals in 209 appearances across all competitions to see Liverpool reach such heights.   

 Wijnaldum has been central to Jurgen Klopp’s side – scoring 20 goals in 209 appearances

He also played a key role in Liverpool’s Champions League and Premier League success  

However, Liverpool’s midfield is becoming an increasingly packed area of the pitch, not only due to the arrival of Thiago but also because of the emergence of Curtis Jones. 

As a result, Wijnaldum may be inclined to disregard the advice given to him by his Holland team-mate and look to move abroad this year. 

Barcelona appear to be frontrunners to land a deal with Wijnaldum – should he decide to leave the Premier League champions in the January transfer window. 

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