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Liverpool transfers: Could Guido Rodriguez replace Gini Wijnaldum?

Guido Rodriguez is one of the transfers Liverpool are considering right now, according to reports. Could the player replace Gini Wijnaldum?

This comes from La Razon. They claim Guido Rodriguez is among the transfers Liverpool could complete in this window.

He’d cost around £25m from Real Betis after a very impressive season in La Liga. But could he replace Gini Wijnaldum for that?

That’s the big question. Wijnaldum left this summer for free, creating a gap in the Reds’ squad. So let’s have a look at Rodriguez and whether he could do the job.

Liverpool transfers: Guido Rodriguez

We’ve actually been here before. Estadio Deportivo linked Rodriguez with the Reds back in March when he again looked like a Wijnaldum replacement.

And what we said then largely holds true – he’s a very different player. Using him like Wijnaldum would mean a change in formation, playing Rodriguez alongside Fabinho in a two.

That’s because Rodriguez is a defensive midfielder, rather than a well-rounded box-to-box player like Wijnaldum. His defensive statistics shine above all.

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And they shine brightly. Rodriguez averaged the third-most tackles in La Liga last season and the seventh-most interceptions. That’s quite fantastic.

But Wijnaldum shone in a different way. The Dutchman was magnificent at keeping the ball, averaging a 92% pass completion rate last season.

That was the fifth-best in the Premier League last season, with Wijnaldum being a more forward-thinking player than anyone above him. Three players above him were centre-backs, in fact.

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He did that while being dispossessed under once per game – a brilliant rate for a player who has so much of the ball.

Rodriguez can actually match that rate but falls well below when passing. He attempted the same number per game but completed just 84%.

The Argentine just isn’t the same type of player, then. He’s more defensive, more likely to win the ball back. Less likely to keep it.

But it does bring us to something else. We recently wrote how when replacing Wijnaldum, maybe Liverpool shouldn’t focus on a like-for-like.

Instead, they could ‘replace’ Wijnaldum’s role in the squad as backup for Fabinho and Jordan Henderson. Rodriguez would do that to perfection and at a good price.

If that’s the direction Liverpool want to go down, Rodriguez could fill the spot in the squad very well.

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