Jurgen Klopp clearly has an awful lot of trust in Gini Wijnaldum. It’s trust that surely spells the end for two Liverpool stars.
Jurgen Klopp trusts Gini Wijnaldum – that’s understandable. He’s a Liverpool player who the boss has relied upon for some time now.
After all, the very role Wijnaldum plays requires trust. He’s there to play a very disciplined game and to maintain possession over anything glamourous.
Klopp has Wijnaldum cover the runs of Andy Robertson, link midfield and attack, help shield the defence and, on occasion, captain the side.
But all of that trust has taken on a new shine this season and, particularly, in the last few months. Wijnaldum appears to be off, after all.
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The trust in Wijnaldum
Wijnaldum’s contract ends in June. It means that while Liverpool fight for Champions League football, the Dutchman doesn’t.
He can almost certainly secure it for himself next season, no matter what happens.
Now, that’s not to question Wijnaldum’s fight or motivation. That’s certainly there. But it means he doesn’t quite have the same headspace as everyone else at Liverpool.
Nor is he playing without distractions – he’s trying to earn a lucrative move elsewhere. He’s on a different page to the rest.
With all of that in mind, Klopp’s continuing trust doesn’t look good for two senior Liverpool players.
Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are two senior players who aren’t getting consistent minutes. Both sat on the bench, for instance, as Curtis Jones got a game against Newcastle United.
In fact, with Fabinho moving away from midfield for that game, Klopp chose to change his system rather than bring in a new midfielder.
But while that looks bad for them, Wijnaldum playing every week looks just as bad. Especially as there’s no real questioning of Klopp’s choice there.
What’s particularly damning, then, is that Wijnaldum isn’t even playing consistently well. Yet no one bats an eye at them being out of the side.
This comes at a time when both Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain should be highly motivated. After all, they’re clearly playing for their Liverpool careers whenever they’re on the pitch.
They’re in effectively the opposite situation to Wijnaldum – they should undoubtedly be more motivated than anyone. They’re behind Jones in the lineup, a younger player, and there’s a big transfer window coming up.
And yet Klopp has far more trust that he’ll get good performances out of a player who’s leaving this summer.
We agree with him and that, surely, doesn’t bode well for either of Keita or Oxlade-Chamberlain. They’re facing the exit door.