Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed to Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond he is open to finishing his career in his home country with either of his three former sides, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord or Sparta Rotterdam.
Wijnaldum, 29, netted his third league goal of the season on Monday night as Liverpool came from behind to beat West Ham United at Anfield – to move within four league victories of Premier League immortality.
It was the Dutchman’s 17th goal in 174 appearances since joining Jurgen Klopp’s European champions in the summer of 2016, for a fee of £25million (Telegraph). Wijnaldum has become the subject of much talk in recent weeks with the former Newcastle United star Liverpool’s only remaining enigma regarding contract negotiations.
Wijnaldum’s current contract expires in the summer of 2021, and it remains to be seen if he will be offered a new deal. The former PSV general has become one of the key cogs of Klopp’s world-conquering outfit and represents one of the club’s shrewdest arrivals in the German manager’s tenure.
However, the midfielder has stated that he wants to finish his career in the Netherlands, and is open to doing that at one of his former sides.
Originally developing through Sparta’s academy, Wijnaldum joined Feyenoord as a 14-year-old before managing 135 senior appearances. He moved to PSV in 2011 for four years, clocking up another 154 games before making the move to the Premier League with Newcastle in 2015.
“I see myself returning to Feyenoord, PSV or Sparta,” Wijnaldum said. “I look at Sparta and I think ‘well, it would be nice if I played there in my last years’. In the Netherlands, I have played at three clubs and I have had a very good feeling about all three.
“You want to play at the highest level and win prizes, like Clarence Seedorf. My dream is to stay fit for as long as I can, like Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] or Ronaldo. I want to play at a high level until I am 38.”
What RTK has to say
Wijnaldum remains a fundamental figure in Liverpool’s middle and it is paramount the club do everything in their power to keep him at Anfield.
The Netherland’s international is the embodiment of the project Jurgen Klopp has created in his four-year stint with the Reds. One of the most selfless footballers in the team, Wijnaldum has truly bought into the German’s philosophy and has embraced what Klopp has created in terms of a team ethic.
Wijnaldum is always first to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the team. If the full-backs bomb on and progress further up the field, it’s up to Wijnaldum to inevitably provide that much-needed cover and put in that shift for his team.
He is also incredibly effective at utilising the ball for his team with an effortless ability to use his elegant body frame to his advantage.
With Adam Lallana set to leave in the summer and James Milner entering the latter stages of his career, Liverpool cannot afford to allow one of their fundamental stars to have his head turned in the upcoming summer window.