Liverpool could replace Gini Wijnaldum with Florian Neuhaus, according to The Guardian. With that in mind, here are three ways the Reds could cover the Dutchman’s departure.
Wijnaldum out, Neuhaus in
Neuhaus is really just an example but he may be the easiest way to truly replace Wijnaldum this summer. It’s not quite like-for-like but very close.
Wijnaldum’s strength for Liverpool was always in his ability to do a bit of everything. He’s world-class at maintaining possession, both through passing and dribbling. He can tackle and intercept passes, while he’ll also press high up the pitch and try to get in the box.
Neuhaus has a long way to go before he reaches that level but he’s similar. He was great going forward last season, scoring six and assisting five. The 24-year-old also averaged 1.5 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game, though.
A signing like that would help Liverpool keep going as they are. No major changes needed and they can continue with their pragmatic, all-action midfield plan.
Yes, it could cost £34m but it’s still the ‘safe’ option.
Back Curtis Jones
One option, as the Guardian points out, is to not sign anyone at all. It certainly saves money.
That would essentially make Cutis Jones the Wijnaldum replacement. Liverpool would be backing the Scouser to continue his rapid development and become a first-team star.
We think that could be a wise move. Jones has an incredible amount of potential and giving him a bigger role next season could reap short and long-term benefits.
He’s a different kind of player to Wijnaldum, of course, but perhaps good enough to force a slight change in strategy. We’d argue it’s the most exciting option.
One way to do this is to sign a top forward, rather than a midfielder. Back Thiago, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are your main midfield options and shift towards playing more attackers.
We saw Jurgen Klopp utilise a 4-2-4 formation at times last season with mixed success. But signing a player explicitly with that style in mind could make it a more serious option.
This way, Liverpool don’t need to worry about Wijnaldum’s replacement not being as good. They’d be heading in an entirely different direction.