Liverpool could let Gini Wijnaldum leave for free in a year as his contract expires. It’s a move that suggests the big rebuild is coming.
Sky Sports claimed the other day that Liverpool aren’t in discussions with Wijnaldum over a new contract. The player’s deal expires at the end of the coming season, however.
And yet, Jurgen Klopp and co. are okay with the situation. They fully expect Wijnaldum to be at the club next season and to see maximum effort from the Dutchman.
But why would everyone be so cool about Wijnaldum leaving? He’s an integral part of this incredibly successful side, after all, featuring in all but one Premier League game this season. He started 35 out of the 38 fixtures, in fact – there’s little doubt that he’s a key player.
We only see one reason, in all honesty. The big rebuild is coming and it looks set to happen next year.
This Liverpool team is arguably the best in the world, of course, but nothing lasts forever. The players are starting to edge towards 30, with Wijnaldum hitting that milestone before the year is out.
Jordan Henderson, too, is 30 while the front three will all be 29 this time next year. Virgil van Dijk, probably the most important member of the squad, will be 30 in a year.
Now, that doesn’t mean all need replacing. It does mean that Liverpool will need to start bringing in talented players to take over, however.
Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, as good as they are, may not peak for six or seven years. Liverpool need good players now, players who can bridge the gap to a very gifted young generation.
Liverpool won’t want to do that all at once, of course, so there’s no use waiting another three or four years for everyone to break down. Starting next year, though, makes complete sense.
The Reds can bring in two or three quality players for first-team roles. They need space in the lineup to do that.
That would explain the reported casual stance on Wijnaldum’s contract. While things will likely stay the same for this coming season, we may well see a different, new Liverpool the season after that.
Wijnaldum leaving would create the necessary space in the team to make that happen. He might not be the only star to leave, of course, but surely the only to leave for nothing.