Written By: Harrison Kidd (@HarrisonKidd7)
Gini Wijnaldum is becoming a man in demand as The Reds midfielder enters the last six months of his contract. With the January transfer window coming up the midfield maestro will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement in January with another club.
Barcelona and Inter Milan are reportedly both interested in the Dutchman. Having worked with Wijnaldum for the Netherlands, Ronald Koeman has made Wijnaldum one his top targets.Embed from Getty Images
Wijnaldum has proved he has a great footballing knowledge by being able to adapt to different roles in different teams, for example for the Netherlands he plays as an attacking midfielder scoring 7 goals and assisting twice in his 8 games in the EURO 2019/20 qualifiers.
He regularly played in that role under Koeman, which is something we could see for Barcelona if Wijnaldum does move to the Catalan club.
For Liverpool, as you know he has a complete different role. Wijnaldum for Liverpool isn’t a player you can judge on his goals and assists. Wijnaldum is key for Liverpool in keeping possesion while Liverpool are on the attack.
Liverpool’s use of a high defensive line that allows the full-backs to push up and provide width and creativity, this high-risk strategy requires complete trust in every player to retain possession, in order to protect the centre-halves from becoming isolated on the counter.Embed from Getty Images
The dilemma Liverpool face is, although they would love to offer Wijnaldum a new contract to keep him at the club reportedly they are apprehensive in offering him a long term deal on a higher wage.
The Dutchman has recently turned 30 years old and although he is essential for Liverpool at the moment, the likelihood of him being as indispensable in 3/4 years time is very slim.
Bayern Munich were faced with the same problem with Thiago last summer as he also entered the last year of his contract, instead of keeping him for his last year in his contract which Liverpool have with Gini, they sold him to Liverpool for £27 million.
Liverpool avoided this temptation from Barcelona in the summer, as they rejected the offer to cash in on Wijnaldum and kept him for the season.
This decision from Liverpool has proved to be wise as Wijnaldum has been hugely important for Liverpool over the years, especially this season as Liverpool have become injury ridden. Thankfully for Liverpool Gini has been one of the few players who has been consistently available for every game this season.Embed from Getty Images
He has retained Liverpool’s intensity in midfield and without a doubt has been one of Liverpool’s key players this season. Although his contract may be coming to an end and clubs may be in for him, he will not drop his performance levels and work rate. He isn’t that sort of player that those sort of qualities is what has made Wijnaldum an intergral part of Klopp’s squad.
Klopp has told previous star players that if they want to compete the best solution for them is to stay at Liverpool. Leaving Liverpool hasn’t always worked out for players, just ask Phillipe Coutinho and Emre Can…