Sean Clansey gives the low-down on Liverpool target Georginio Wijnaldum.
Georginio Gregson Emile Wijnaldum, 25, is of Dutch nationality and currently plys his trade, as an attacking midfielder, for Newcastle United.
Yes, Newcastle United. The same Newcastle United that are currently in the championship. Yes, an attacking midfielder. Yes, the same position Liverpool are exceptionally accomplished and painfully congested in.
Recent reports indicate that Klopp is ready to throw £25 million at Newcastle to get his man. Usually, at first, you’d hear that and immediately think/hope speculation but with ever so reliable James Pearce and Tony Barrett reporting it, I’m afraid this deal is very much on the cards.
It’s not all doom and gloom. Especially considering Wijnaldum notched up 11 goals and 5 assists in 38 starts for a very poor Newcastle side last season. He also holds the accolade of being Newcastle’s best player, bar Sissoko perhaps. And he was definitely one of very few shimmering lights that came out of the Toon last season.
4 of those 11 goals came, impressively, against Norwich City in one match and he definitely caused a few problems for Liverpool last season, scoring and assisting on separate occasions against the Reds.
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It’s clearly evident the guy’s got goals in him and can also chip in with an assist here and there.
However, the problem lies in the prominence of the signing. Are these the sort of signings that a club aiming to compete amongst the finest level of top flight English Football should be making? And what would potential signings think of playing beside a former Championship player? All that I’m saying is that this signing certainly doesn’t raise any eyebrows or reflect the ambitions that Liverpool Football Club should be showing.
However, it could be argued that Klopp could quite possibly turn this inconsistent, mediocre understudy into a tireless, valuable match winner. I mean he’s done it before hasn’t he; Gundogan, Lewandowksi, Hummels – all arguable underachievers who, under Klopp’s era of German dominance, took the footballing world by storm.
Now the only problem that remains is the fact Wijnaldum is, an out-and-out attacking midfielder. A position we are very comfortable with at the moment. If signed, do you honestly think he would get ahead of the likes of Mané, Coutinho, Firmino or even Lallana?
We have been in the market for a midfielder recently and when I say that I mean a defensive midfielder to partner Can, not another AM. That’s if you presume, like me, we’d be best with and we will most likely field a 4-2-3-1 formation come the start of next season.
However, the past 2 pre-season friendlies, in which we ran riot (I know it was against lower league teams but that’s beside the point) Klopp has structured his team in a 4-3-3 formation. Which, in hindsight, sounds a lot more suitable for someone like Wijnaldum.