first_imgLiverpool evolved over the course of the 2018-19 season, says Georginio Wijnaldum, who believes the Reds are now strong enough to win “really tough” games.Jurgen Klopp’s side finished the season by lifting the Champions League trophy after beating Tottenham 2-0.It was a much-needed piece of silverware to cap off an incredible campaign on Merseyside, with Liverpool having amassed 97 points to finish runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And Wijnaldum, who scored twice after coming off the bench in the crucial Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona, is sure the club is moving in the right direction. “We have evolved a lot,” Wijnaldum told Liverpool’s official website. “You can see it not only with the results but also with the way we were playing. We grew during the season.”We started really well and we managed to win difficult games where in the past it was quite difficult and if we didn’t play really well we didn’t win the games that were really tough.”But this season we managed to win those games. We learned a lot. Everyone is a better player than they were before.”Liverpool had the best defensive record in the English top flight last year, with the likes of Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk putting in consistent performances at the back.Van Dijk was voted PFA Player of the Year for his imperious form, and Wijnaldum has been in awe of his fellow countryman. “What has impressed me the most with Virgil is that he’s consistent, he barely makes a mistake,” the midfielder continued.”He developed really well at Celtic and Southampton and Liverpool, he developed a lot.”What also impressed me is that other players play better when he plays; the defenders next to him defend better, the players in front of him play better because when you play and you know he’s behind you, you have a safe feeling.”Liverpool will reconvene for pre-season next month, with fixtures taking place against Tranmere Rovers and Bradford City on July 11 and July 14 respectively.The Reds then face further friendlies against Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Sporting, Napoli and Lyon before competing in the Community Shield ahead of their Premier League opener at home to Norwich City on August 9. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img