Georginio Wijnaldum admitted he was “not entirely happy” with the lack of playing time at Paris Saint-Germain but has vowed to fight for his place on the team.
The 30-year-old joined the Ligue 1 giants on a free transfer in June after failing to agree on a new contract with Liverpool, where he has been a regular for the past five seasons.
After starting five of PSG’s first seven games this season, Wijnaldum started only once in the five games before the international break.
He has played in all 12 games for the French team in all but one of their competitions, but the midfielder is not happy to replace Marco Verratti, Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera.
“I can’t say I’m completely happy,” he said at a press conference ahead of the Netherlands’ World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar.
“The situation is not what I wanted. I’ve played a lot in recent years, I’ve always been fit and I’ve done very well.
“That is something different and takes some getting used to. I was really looking forward to the new step and then it happens. It’s very difficult.
“This is football and I have to learn to deal with it. I am a fighter. I have to stay positive and work hard to turn it around. “
Wijnaldum made 51 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions last season – the most in a single season since his senior debut for Feyenoord in 2006/07.
The 502 minutes Wijnaldum has played this season is the twelfth most played among PSG players, behind players like Gueye (588) and Herrera (868).
Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal said last week he was “concerned” about Wijnaldum’s situation at Parc des Princes.
“I talked to him about it when he got here. But the alarm bells are not ringing yet. I have great confidence in certain players, ”added Van Gaal.
“You will remember that I took him to the World Cup in 2014 with an injury. I started with [Jonathan] De Guzman but Wijnaldum soon took the lead and did well.
Wijnaldum are in the running for the Netherlands’ home game against Gibraltar on Monday, with a win enough to guarantee a top-two finish in Group G in the event of other results.