Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has confessed that he will not be happy if he does not start in the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The Netherlands international was only a substitute in the second leg of the semi-final against Barcelona at Anfield last month, when the Reds performed a miracle to make it through to the title showdown in Madrid.
Wijnaldum started the final against Real Madrid last season, but with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson expected to be named in the Liverpool starting XI against Spurs, the Dutchman would appear to be battling with James Milner for a spot in the team from the beginning.
The midfielder was angry to be left on the bench against Barcelona, but he went about things the right way, and when he was introduced onto the pitch at half time, he became the hero, scoring two goals to get the Reds level on aggregate, before Divock Origi fired them into Saturday night’s clash.
Despite that impact, he is not guaranteed to be involved from the start against Spurs, and that would clearly disappoint the former Newcastle United man.
“There is no guarantee that you will play but we will see,” Sky Sports quote him as saying.
“I was angry (to not start against Barcelona) but I think that is normal. It’s a bad sign if you are happy to sit on the bench. (The expectation being) if you come back from an injury and you are coming back step-by-step.
“I just want to play as much as possible, especially in a game like (the final). I think everyone would be disappointed if they don’t play.
“I was disappointed but in the end you play as a team.
“We have a team which supports each other, you do your job and try to help the team win games.
“When I came in I gave it my all and then we will see what will happen.”
All eyes will be on the teamsheet Jurgen Klopp puts in to see if Wijnaldum has his name on it, but even if it doesn’t, the semi-final tells us that he is still capable of making a big impression in the final.