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‘Not the same intensity’: Liverpool legend criticises Anfield star linked with Barcelona move

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‘Not the same intensity’: Liverpool legend criticises Anfield star linked with Barcelona move

One thing Graeme Souness could never be accused of was lacking intensity.

He won 14 trophies for Liverpool as a player, as well as an FA Cup during his time in the dugout, with desire and aggression among the hallmarks of his game.

His former side scaled the heights in recent years, winning the Champions League in 2019 and Premier League in 2020, but their standard have slipped considerably this time out and they currently find themselves sitting sixth in the table.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have also seen their European hopes extinguished, with Real Madrid knocking them out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage in midweek.

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While Klopp has had to deal with numerous injuries, not all of the players available to him have risen to the occasion.

The Mirror have reported that Gini Wijnaldum is keen to join Barcelona on a free transfer this summer, and Souness has questioned the 30-year-old midfielder’s intensity.


Writing in his column for The Times on Sunday, former Rangers and Sampdoria man Souness said: “Injuries have hurt Liverpool badly, but they have not played with the same intensity either. Some players have felt sorry for themselves.

“They have not responded as well as Jürgen Klopp would have expected or wanted them to. They felt it wasn’t their year and have meekly accepted that.

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“They need to rebuild their midfield — it’s the catalyst for their pressing.

“People talk about the strikers, but a lot of their success was based on getting the ball back so quickly because of Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Fabinho putting a shift in.

“Wijnaldum is leaving for Barcelona and I’m not sure how I’d have reacted to a player who made it clear he was off, how that goes down in a dressing-room. The players may make a joke of it, but it also may not sit well with all of them.

‘He’s not played with the same intensity this season.”

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