How ex-Liverpool ace Georginio Wijnaldum influenced Man Utd’s new signing Tyrell Malacia

Robin van Persie and Tahith Chong are two of the names who Tyrell Malacia has cited as inspirations since completing his £13million transfer to Manchester United.

But while the 22-year-old is following in the aforementioned pair’s footsteps by signing for United after starting out at Feyenoord, ex- Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is someone else who Malacia idolises, thanks to their shared Rotterdam roots.

Wijnaldum, nine years Malacia’s senior and now at Paris Saint-Germain, spent seven years in Feyenoord’s academy prior to joining fellow Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in 2011, while the left-back has been representing his hometown club since the age of nine. Teaming up for the first time last year on the international stage, Malacia was able to get up close and personal to his fellow Feyenoord success story, finding that he and Wijnaldum were alike in more ways than their footballing background.

Opening up on his introverted lifestyle off the pitch, the new Red Devil – who in contrast is an enthusiastic player – was quoted as saying earlier this year by Ebonyst : “I see a lot of myself in Georginio, as a person. Calm, but he knows what he wants. I am very much on my own a lot in my room.”

Despite Malacia’s superstar status in Rotterdam, he has remained firmly grounded and not let the stardom get to his head. “People I’m with say, ‘I keep forgetting that you’re a professional football player’,” the five-capped Netherlands international went on. “But I don’t see myself as that professional footballer at all. I don’t use it either, I’m too shy for that.”

Now Malacia will be dealing with the Old Trafford limelight as new manager Erik ten Hag ‘s first signing, but the dynamic defender is taking the step up to the Premier League in his stride. “I think it will be amazing,” Malacia told manutd.com when asked about the prospect of playing in from of more than 75,000 fans. “The home games, I will love to be on the pitch and playing for the fans.”






Malacia has signed a four-year contract with Man Utd


Malacia has signed a four-year contract with Man Utd
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Manchester United via Getty Imag)

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His first interview after putting pen to paper on a four-year contract also delved into his personality, as Malacia added: “I love music but being on my own a lot. Or with my family, but I don’t like to go out or that kind of thing. It’s not my thing.”

Ten Hag in renowned for taking a keen interest his players’ personal lives, but what Malacia will be remembered most for in Manchester is what happens on the pitch. If football director John Murtough is to be believed, United’s new recruit will help bring the glory days back to Old Trafford.

“Tyrell is an exciting, dynamic young footballer with excellent experience for his age, including five seasons in the Eredivisie, a European final and full international honours for the Netherlands,” Murtough explained. “We look forward to seeing him continue to develop under the guidance of Erik ten Hag and his coaching team in the years ahead.”

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