LONDON: Despite Philippe Coutinho's interest in joining FC Barcelona, there was no problem when he returned to the Liverpool football squad, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has said.
"It was difficult. Phil is a really good person, and we understood why he wanted to make the move. He's someone who has always given everything for Liverpool. He has done a great job fighting for Liverpool," Wijnaldum told the Liverpool Echo on Sunday.
Coutinho missed Liverpool's first six matches of the season.
Wijnaldum said they would have been happy if he made the move as it could have helped his career, but as teammates the Brazilian's return has bolstered the squad.
"On one side, we would have been happy for him if he could have gone as he really wanted to make the move, but on the other side as teammates you want him to stay because you know with Phil we'll be better," he said.
"You can see it from both sides. Someone was going to be disappointed at the end of the transfer window, and it was Phil."
Wijnaldum said he never doubted Coutinho's attitude. "Phil didn't just show it in these two games, but throughout last season he showed what a top player he is," he reckoned.
"He's an important player who can win games for us. It was normal that the club tried so hard to keep him.
"You never know what will happen in the future. But Phil is a good person and, no matter how long he's here, I know he will always give everything for Liverpool. We're so happy that he stayed."