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Gini Wijnaldum is not backing down – and that will come as no surprise to Liverpool ’s fans.
The Dutch midfielder has been critical of the system being used by boss Frank de Boer, despite its 100 percent success.
Wijnaldum and his team-mates smiled as a banner was flown over Holland’s training camp this week which read: ‘Frank, simply 4-3-3!’
And the former Reds midfielder, who sealed a bumper Bosman move to Paris Saint-Germain just a few days before the tournament got underway, makes no secret of his desire for a change away from the 5-3-2 used by De Boer.
Wijnaldum explains that fierce criticism was heaped on the team after their 2-2 draw with Scotland in the warm-up matches.
Gini Wijnaldum still does not appear convinced by Frank de Boer's management
(Image: Handout via REUTERS)
He said: “We did not have a great build-up to the tournament. The hammering we got was something that led to discussions in the squad.
“We spoke with all the players and the coaches about the critics. Fans and media are allowed to be sharp and critical. We had to face it because of the way we played against Scotland.
“I like the real Dutch 4-3-3 system. That is where my heart is, with myself in an attacking role behind the front three. That was the way we played under Ronald Koeman and that was also the period where we were very successful again.
“We got to the final of the Nations League, we beat teams like France and Germany.’’
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Wijnaldum, who cried when his team-mates gave him a standing ovation at his farewell moment at Liverpool, has hinted that the Anfield club did not offer him the length of years he wanted.
Koeman looked as if he could offer him a safe haven at Barcelona, when he offered him a three-year deal.
But PSG stole in as negotiations dragged on with the 30-year-old due to pick up a staggering £9million-a-year, net of tax. He said: “Everyone knows I was linked to Barcelona and I wanted to play for Ronald Koeman. But it did not fully materialise.
“I was in negotiations with Barca for four weeks and we could not agree.
“PSG were quicker and more determined. The project they have appeals to me. It was a big relief that I was able to finalise it all before the tournament.”
It is a move that former Holland defender Ernie Brandts, who played in the 1978 World Cup final, feels Barcelona may live to regret.
He said: “Gini has been absolutely fantastic for Holland.
“Barcelona will regret it that they took too long with getting his contract sorted out.”