Sanjay Nair reviews Georginio Wijnaldum’s 2017/18 season, commenting that the Dutchman is in danger of being passed by at Liverpool.
Georginio Wijnaldum, or Gini as he is fondly called, is another player from Liverpool’s midfield from whom much was expected but has failed to deliver at that level.
Two seasons after joining the Reds from Newcastle, he is yet to cement a place in Liverpool’s midfield triumvirate.
Goals and assists have not been very regular from the boots of Wijnaldum during the 2017/18 season and it is unclear whether it is due to specific responsibilities given to him or we are witnessing another player who is finding the famous Red jersey too much to handle.
Yes, there have been games where our Gini has been all over the park with his hustle and bustle. However, such instances have been too far and few between. A return of 1 goal in 33 appearances in the League (at Anfield against Huddersfield) is poor and has been well-hidden thanks to the outstanding goal-scoring prowess of our front-three.
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In a trio along with Henderson/Milner or Henderson/Can, the team would have no doubt benefitted greatly if there were a few goals from any of the midfielders, especially in games such as the scoreless draws against West Brom, Everton and Stoke City where defences were successful in shutting out the Fab-3.
Defensively too, Wijnaldum had not been much of a factor earlier in the season. The onus of shutting out games, game management, etc. should lie a lot with the midfielders who need to ensure maximum ball possession and one rarely got to see this from Liverpool’s trio.
It is not to put the blame entirely on Wijnaldum but the coming season will see a change with the likes of Naby Keita and Fabinho coming into the mix.
Wijnaldum’s greatest moment in a Liverpool jersey to date may have come in the Champions League semifinal second leg against Roma where he got what eventually proved to be the goal that decided the tie.
His first-ever away goal for Liverpool could not have been timed better, but even that cannot hide the fact that Georginio Wijnaldum generally had a mediocre season at Liverpool.
A barely noticeable two goals in 49 appearances during the 2017/18 season has left us largely disappointed and despite his wonderful attitude and ever-smiling presence, another season like the one that passed us by might force Wijnaldum to look elsewhere for considerable game-time.