Garth Crooks admits he didn’t expect Gini Wijnaldum to still be at Liverpool. The BBC pundit included the midfielder in his Team of the Week.
Gini Wijnaldum played an interesting role against Leicester City. He had to fill in for both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson as the holding player – but with Fabinho behind him.
It worked, though. Wijnaldum played wonderfully in the middle, helping to keep the Foxes at bay. It earned him a spot in Garth Crook’s Team of the Week.
Crooks, though, didn’t think Wijnaldum was going to play for Liverpool this season.
“I’m surprised this lad is still at Anfield,” he wrote. “At one point I was almost certain that fellow Dutchman Ronald Koeman was going to take Wijnaldum to Barcelona.
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“It made sense, of course. Wijnaldum is perfect for the Spanish giants but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp didn’t even dignify the rumours with a response and it wasn’t long before it was clear that Wijnaldum was going nowhere.”
Crooks went on to describe Wijnaldum as a ‘coach’s dream’ in that he can play all over midfield with no fuss.
What RTK has to say
Well, we’re a little surprised, too. Mundo Deportivo recently claimed that Wijnaldum actually agreed a deal with Barcelona and it’s believable.
He’s out of contract after the season, after all, and we still think he’ll leave. Only, it’ll be for free.
But in an injury-crisis season, we’ll take that. Having him around for games like Sunday is worth far more than any fee Liverpool could have conceivably gotten for a player with one year on his deal.
As for next year, Liverpool might need someone new.
But Wijnaldum certainly deserves his Team of the Week inclusion. Thankfully, he’s still around to deliver games like this. Liverpool would be a lot worse off if he wasn’t.