Gini Wijnaldum talks goals, Salah and playing with freedom

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Munich training camp - pre-season training
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Gini Wijnaldum has been singing the praises of his new teammate, Egyptian speedster Mohamed Salah, over the last 24 hours.

When Mohamed Salah put the finishing touches on Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday night it was his third goal in four pre-season fixtures for the Reds so far. His teammate Gini Wijnaldum believes that the player’s smooth transition from Roma to Liverpool has made it easy for him to settle in.

“He’s really flying. I didn’t see his goal because I was in the changing room but I heard it was a good goal,” Wijnaldum told the club’s official website.

“He has settled in really well. He’s not only a great player but also a great person, and that makes it easier for him but also for us to accept him. Since the moment he came here, he felt free to be himself. It’s a good thing for us.”

Wijnaldum added that while Salah is looking superb, he’s just as excited for Sadio Mané to make his full return to fitness – the Senegalese played his first 45 minutes of pre-season on Saturday – and to see the pair unleashed in full flow.

“It’s always good to play with good players,” he explained.

“And when they are quick – as you see with Sadio and Mo – that makes it easier for us because the opponent has to be aware of two quick players and that creates space somewhere else in the team. So everyone can profit from the quality of those players.”

While it was Salah who once again stole the headlines, the Reds were superb as a whole against Hertha Berlin and Wijnaldum himself played a huge part, scoring the Reds second goal just before half time.

“I don’t want to say it was comfortable because it was really hard,” added the midfielder.

“We trained a lot and to play a game like this after you trained really hard makes it really hard. Maybe the score said it was comfortable but it was quite hard. If you train hard and you can bring it into the game, like this, it gives you more pleasure. If you train hard and it doesn’t work in the games then you have the feeling you did it for nothing.

“But, as it is right now, we train hard and in the games so far it is going well. I already did it at Newcastle (scored away from home) before the competition starts. Now here also but I hope to do it in the league also. For me, it doesn’t matter where I score if I score it makes me happy.”

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