Georginio Wijnaldum says former Liverpool team-mate Mo Salah CONVINCED him to join Roma


Georginio Wijnaldum revealed he his former Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah persuaded him to sign for Roma.

Speaking at his first press conference as a Roma midfielder, the Dutch midfielder admitted that he was convinced to sign for the Europa Conference champions after the efforts they had made to sign him, as well as a conversation with Salah.

The Egyptian forward was on the books at the Italian club for two seasons before joining Liverpool,  where we went on to play 182 games with Wijnaldum, who joins the Roman club on loan from Paris Saint Germain.

The Holland international midfielder told reporters: ‘I wanted to come because of the effort the club made to sign me and because I spoke to Mo Salah and Kevin Strootman about the club and the city and I only heard good stories about it.

‘I also spoke to Achraf Hakimi, even if he played for Inter, he said that Roma is a beautiful club. That convinced me a lot also because I knew the club.

‘We played once with Liverpool and the atmosphere was amazing, I knew I’d play for a club with beautiful supporters, it was the only thing that I knew.

‘What convinced me the most was the effort Tiago Pinto put in to sign me. I felt wanted and appreciated and that made me make the decision.’

Wijnaldum found himself forced out of the Ligue 1 champions despite only being a year into his stay at the French capital, where he was a largely peripheral presence.

And although Jose Mourinho did not play an influential role in convincing him to join, he admitted that the Portuguese boss’ glittering record was a big factor in his decision.

He added: ‘We didn’t really have a conversation where he said ‘you have to come here’ because there was already negotiations between the clubs and I had already spoken with some players about it.

‘When we spoke he thanked me because I wanted to come to Rome, we spoke about that and about football.

‘Mourinho as a manager speaks for himself, the trophies he’s won and the club he’s coached. It’s unbelievable. Every player wants to work with him and so do I. From the moment I spoke to him, I knew I wanted to come, but I had already decided before.’

Roma’s squad for the new season was officially unveiled in front of 65,000 fans at the Stadio Olimpico, and Giallorossi fans were given an opportunity to see their new man in his new colours.

And Wijnaldum was hugely impressed by the reception he and his new team-mates were given, saying: ‘The atmosphere was special, the welcome was amazing, I am quite shy when it comes to these kinds of things and I am still amazed by what the fans did to me and my teammates, it was such a warm welcome.

‘Also, the first day when I arrived, I went straight to dinner with the team, I met them [his teammates] in the restaurant and the players showed that they were happy I was here.

‘It’s important to feel welcomed into the team. They didn’t know I’d come straight for dinner and were happy and in training, it was the same.’


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