Clubs, English Premier League, Georginio Wijnaldum, Liverpool, Story, Transfers

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LIVERPOOL — Georginio Wijnaldum has said he was baffled by reports linking him with a move from Liverpool to Turkey earlier in the summer.

Reports in Turkey last month claimed midfielder Wijnaldum was close to moving to Fenerbahce, where he would have been reunited with his former PSV Eindhoven boss Phillip Cocu.

“That was the speculation of the media. I laughed about it,” he told reporters. “I also read that I asked the club if I could leave. I never had a conversation with the club.

“People from the outside just see Liverpool is buying players, so players who are already here are going to leave. Liverpool will always buy good players, even if they already have good players. That’s normal.

“But that was something from the media that I was going to Turkey, maybe because Phillip Cocu is manager and I worked with him for two years. I don’t know who put it in the media, but it wasn’t me.”

With Jordan Henderson lacking match sharpness after an extended break and Fabinho struggling for fitness, Wijnaldum started Liverpool’s 4-0 home win over West Ham on Sunday as the deepest midfielder.

The Netherlands international said the increase in competition for places at Anfield was welcome, adding: “I always try to perform and not because you have players on the bench or on the pitch that can play in your position.

“I always want to play. That kind of competition, you have to get it in a team like Liverpool. I think Manchester City and Chelsea, with the new signings that they’ve made, have it also.

“Back in the day it was not different. If you see that there’s a player and you play for a big team, you just have to do your best for the manager.”

Liverpool end the first round of Premier League matches at the top of the table after Sunday’s dominant display and Wijnaldum hopes it can be the start of a successful campaign.

“We feel that we can do something special. We felt it last year also,” he said. “But feeling is one thing, doing it is the second one. We work hard to achieve great things in the season. That’s what we’re going to try.

“We just have to make sure we keep this confidence and the way we are playing. Hopefully we will play a lot of good games this season.”

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