This Liverpool team is greater than the sum of its parts. Each player has a specific and demanding role to play and some of these roles are unglamorous ones, as such some players fail to get the recognition they deserve – from the wider footballing world at least. Gini Wijnaldum is one such player who doesn’t get the credit he deserves, the future of the Dutchman is Liverpool’s greatest dilemma this summer.
A new man under Klopp
The Reds signed Wijnaldum from a relegated Newcastle United in 2016, paying the Geordies £25m for the midfielder.
The Dutchman arrived at Anfield as a goal scoring attacking midfielder, he scored 11 goals and bagged five assists in his one season at St. James’ Park, netting four goals in one game.
Under Jürgen Klopp the ex-PSV man has been transformed into a box-to-box, ball winning midfielder. He has become a disciplined pressing machine, a vital cog in the Swiss watch that is Klopp’s Liverpool.
At international level the fan favourite is still deployed in a more advanced role, regularly scoring and assisting for his country.
To cash in or not to cash in?
FSG have been such a success at Anfield because of their financial acumen. The club are currently faced with a dilemma: cash in on Gini Wijnaldum or keep him at the club and sacrifice any potential future transfer fee.
Wijnaldum’s current contract with Liverpool expires in June 2021. Discussions about an extension are thought to be well underway, with The Guardian reporting that there have been positive developments and a three year deal could be close.
However, there are still question marks as to whether a deal will or should come to fruition. Gini Wijnaldum is now 29-years-old, meaning that if he signs a new deal at Liverpool then they are unlikely to be able to earn their money back on him in the future.
Negotiating a new deal is likely taking such a long time as the club are trying to get the best value for money possible should they decide to keep the Dutchman around for the foreseeable.
Can we live without him?
Although he is a critical part of the Reds midfield it may be time to let the cult hero go. If we were to move him on we can rely on Michael Edwards to a good price, although the impact of the global health crisis could slash any fee.
This is by no means an easy decision for FSG – do they think that Curtis Jones is ready to assume more responsibility should Gini be moved on in the summer? Can they get a good enough price for him? Do they risk losing him on a free if a new deal can’t be agreed?
Unless a deal is agreed in the near future then Gini Wijnaldum will remain the greatest dilemma facing Liverpool this summer.