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Not replacing Gini Wijnaldum was a massive mistake

Emmet Gates says Liverpool made a mistake not signing a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum and says his absence is the reason for recent defensive issues.

His contract expired at the end of last season and Liverpool were not ready to offer him the wages he was demanding and his age was cited as one of the main reasons why.

Yet, that argument was made redundant when Liverpool renewed Jordan Henderson’s contract. Liverpool not renewing Wijnaldum’s contract is one thing but not replacing him is bordering on negligence.

Emmet Gates told Give Me Sport that he thinks Liverpool’s defensive issues are largely to do with Wijnaldum being sold and not replaced.

He said: “You have the fact that Gini Wijnaldum was never replaced. And Liverpool, aside from Fabinho, don’t have a player who’s kind of in the Wijnaldum mould.

“He offered so much defensive cover, so much protection for the defence from his midfield position.”

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It’s a frustrating topic as Wijnaldum was so important for Liverpool before he left the club and I think his work went unnoticed by so many fans and now, with Jurgen Klopp’s side struggling a bit, he’s finally getting the praise he desrves.

The issue is that it’s a bit late now because the midfielders that are good enough to fill his shoes are at clubs that will be unwilling to sell midway through the season.

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