Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry has highlighted Georginio Wijnaldum as Liverpool’s key man ahead of their Champions League clash on Tuesday.
The German champions travel to Anfield for the first leg of their round-of-16 tie with many tipping Liverpool’s front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to do the damage.
How important is Wijnaldum to Liverpool? Four key things to know…
- Wijnaldum joined Liverpool from Newcastle United in 2016 but has generally played an understated role in midfield.
- This season, though, the Dutchman has drawn high praise from fans, pundits and fellow players.
- No Liverpool midfielder has completed more passes than Wijnaldum (1168) in the Premier League this season.
- Serge Gnabry believes he will be the key to the Reds’ chances against Bayern Munich in their Champions League tie.
Gnabry, though, believes it is Wijnaldum that could be the key to victory for the Reds, with the Dutchman emerging as a key component to Jurgen Klopp’s side in recent weeks due to his industry and work rate.
“Georginio Wijnaldum. When I watch Liverpool games, he’s everywhere,” Gnabry told Goal.
“He works in the background, bridging the spaces between defence and midfield and has a very large impact on the Liverpool game.”
Bayern head into Tuesday’s tie on a run of six games without a clean sheet and although that hasn’t hampered their form too much, Gnabry knows it is something the Bavarians must fix if they are to keep Liverpool’s ‘merciless’ attacking trident at bay.
“It has been seen that you cannot afford fails in the Bundesliga,” the 23-year-old added.
“Of these, we have had too many lately, we conceded too many goals. We have to turn that off.
“Liverpool mercilessly exploits such mistakes with its three fast offensive players.”
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Gnabry: We are Bayern, everything is possible
Many of Bayern’s star players are now entering the twilight of their careers, with the likes of Arjen Robben, Mats Hummels and Manuel Neuer advancing into their 30s.
This has seen many fans and pundits tip Liverpool’s athletic, charismatic side to be too much for the perennial Bundesliga leaders.
And although Gnabry has admitted Liverpool are ‘very strong’ this season, he insists “everything is possible” with Bayern and that his teammates are looking for the win.
“I do not think the public is wrong. Liverpool is playing a very strong season, you cannot deny that,” he said.
“That’s okay. But that does not mean that we go into the game and say, ‘There is nothing to get.’ On the contrary: We have our strengths, we are Bayern. Everything is possible.”