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Klopp admits Wijnaldum ‘surprised’ by forward role against Barca

Jurgen Klopp says Gini Wijnaldum was ‘surprised’ at being asked to play a forward role in Liverpool’s 3-0 Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona.

Liverpool’s Champions League hopes hang by a thread after Luis Suarez and a Lionel Messi brace sealed a first leg advantage for Barcelona, with the Spanish champions in a commanding position to reach the final ahead of next week’s second leg at Anfield.

Liverpool boss Klopp surprised everyone by utilising midfielder Wijnaldum in a central attacking role, with first-choice forward Roberto Firmino named only amongst the substitutes.

Klopp admits the tactic even came as a surprise to Wijnaldum, but says the versatile Dutchman can play in a variety of roles.

“He can play everywhere,” Klopp told the press ahead of his sides trip to Newcastle.

When I told him he was surprised.

“He needed time to adapt to it but in the second half he was really good. We needed an offensive player there who is good at defending.”

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