The importance of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum often goes under the radar because he’s so versatile, former Manchester United defender turned pundit Rio Ferdinand told BT Sport.

Speaking after Liverpool’s 1-0 Champions League victory over Ajax last night, Ferdinand explained the Dutch midfielder has been crucial to Jurgen Klopp’s recent success.

Wijnaldum has been a regular for the Reds this season, playing 17 matches in all competitions.

The 30-year-old has featured in every Premier League match this campaign. He has been a crucial performer in a side heavily hit by injuries. Wijnaldum has filled in across Liverpool’s midfield as Jordan Henderson, Thiago and Fabinho have spent time on the treatment table.

Questions continue to be raised about his future, however, with the Netherlands international entering the final months of his contract.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Manchester United legend Ferdinand thinks the Reds should do everything to hold on to Wijnaldum. He sees the Dutchman as one of Liverpool’s key performers and argues supporters should appreciate his efforts more.

Wijnaldum – selfless and intelligent

Ferdinand said: “I’ve got to be honest – I love this player. He’s very selfless. (With) his intelligence, he’s underrated completely because he can play every single midfield position in that central area.

“You do get players who you play with in your career who fans probably don’t appreciate as much.

“Because on the pitch you know how much work they’re getting through, how valuable they are.”

Barcelona links continue

Despite Klopp’s continued reliance on Wijnaldum, the midfielder has yet to sign a new deal at Anfield.

The 30-year-old was strongly linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer transfer window. And the Catalan outfit are reportedly still keen on acquiring his services.

Ronald Koeman’s side currently sit seventh in La Liga. And Ferdinand can see why the former Netherlands boss wants to be reunited with compatriot Wijnaldum.

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