Florian Neuhaus vs Gini Wijnaldum – who did Liverpool need more? We see if the Reds can make an upgrade this summer.
Gini Wijnaldum left Liverpool to join Paris Saint-Germain this summer. That leaves a gap in midfield that the club will surely hope to fill.
It’s by no means guaranteed, of course, but it’s certainly preferable to have a great replacement than not have one. We don’t know who the incoming player is – or if he exists – but we know of one who could be the answer.
Reports in recent days link Liverpool with Florian Neuhaus. He’s supposedly available from Borussia Monchengladbach and the likes of Bild claim there have been talks.
So who’s a better fit? Neuhaus or Wijnaldum?
Neuhaus vs Wijnaldum
Liverpool won’t find a perfect Wijnaldum clone to replace the Dutchman. If there were such a player, PSG would likely have moved for them instead.
Instead, Liverpool will need to sacrifice something in order to potentially upgrade on Wijnaldum. The most obvious factor is age.
Wijnaldum is now 30, as are Jordan Henderson and Thiago. Liverpool could really use a younger player in their midfield. Someone who can help lead the team into the next generation of stars.
Neuhaus fits that bill nicely. He’s currently 24, meaning he shouldn’t peak for another three or four years. That’s essentially exactly when you’d expect Henderson and Thiago to need replacing. Perfect.
Neuhaus also appears to be a little more productive than Wijnaldum. The Liverpool man only got two goals in the Premier League last season, with zero assists.
That was slightly down on 19/20 when he got four goals and zero assists. Clearly, Wijnaldum wasn’t delivering too many goals. Neuhaus, though, got six goals and five assists last season.
The raw numbers tells a similar story. Neuhaus averaged 1.5 shots per game, Wijnaldum just 0.8. Neuhaus 1.3 dribbles, Wijnaldum 0.9.
Their chance creation was similar, though. Neuhaus would provide 0.7 chances per game, while Wijnaldum offered 0.6.
Defensively, Neuhaus stands out, too. He averaged 1.5 tackles per game last season and 1.5 interceptions. Wijnaldum never reached either number in his entire Liverpool career.
Now, part of that may be that Liverpool dominate so much of the ball. Wijnaldum doesn’t have as much to do defensively, as a result.
And he was a huge part of that possession. Wijnaldum’s pass completion was 92.7% last season – the fifth best in the Premier League. Three of the four players above him were defenders, too, with the other a defensive midfielder.
There’s little doubt that Wijnaldum stands out in that regard. Neuhaus averaged 84.4% and that’s clearly a big drop.
That’s the sacrifice, then. Neuhaus is a more productive player but is he as reliable? No, he’s not. He also doesn’t have years of successful football to back him up.
But he is much younger. The hope will be that Liverpool can make him a more reliable, consistent player. Then, quite honestly, the Reds might have their upgrade on Wijnaldum.