Liverpool have now completed the transfer of Georginio Wijnaldum after agreeing a deal worth up to £25m with Newcastle Utd. But i wanted to see Wijnaldum fitting into Liverpool’s 1st team. The Netherlands international midfielder is rumoured to have signed a 5-year deal and will wear the number 5 shirt as he did for Newcastle.
This marks a great return for Newcastle after Wijnaldum signed for £14.5m from Dutch side PSV in 2015. He did play in all 38 of the club’s Premier League games last season and scored 11 goals. This was actually more than anyone else in the Liverpool squad with Firmino top with just 10 goals.
11 goals does sound good, especially as Newcastle got relegated!! However let’s not forget 4 were against fellow strugglers Norwich.
So now with Sadio Mane signed from Southampton we have added another 21 potential goals in our armory.
He began his career at Feyenoord before moving to PSV Eindhoven. Where in his final season he won player of the year at the club, ahead of Memphis Depay who moved to Man Utd when he transferred to Newcastle respectively.Â
I’m sure that it’s this form Klopp is hoping to repeat.
He’s played for the Netherlands 30 times including finishing 3rd in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Here is an amazing video showing the quality of Wijnaldum.
Wijnaldum on Klopp; “I always love to watch him, his passion as a trainer, i like how he enjoys the game. He gives something back to the group….so I look forward to working with him.”
Rafael Benitez’s opinion carries more weight than most on Merseyside, so Liverpool fans will be encouraged by his assessment of Georginio Wijnaldum last season. “He is so good, he can play everywhere and do well,” the former Reds boss said in March. “He is one of the players that a manager enjoys to coach.”
The question is, with so many Midfield upgrades where does he fit in?
How can Henderson our current captain be dropped? Or can he? Some people are talking about our need to make Sakho or Can our new club captain. I personally would love to see Can grow into the role with guidance I believe he can do it to some success. But that’s another article…!
So we have Wijnaldum and Lallana on the bench..? Whilst Lallana’s stats aren’t as impressive as Mane’s or Wijnaldum’s if you were to write down all that is required from Klopp’s gegenpressing then Lallana would appear high on the list with those qualities.Â What he didn’t offer was the cutting edge, the final spark, the match winning performance.
Klopp’s comments on Wijnaldum being flexible speaks volumes; “He can play a few positions for us and players that come through the Dutch system usually have a good tactical understanding and flexibility. That’s really important.”Â
In order for us to move on we do need to take a gamble. We can’t any longer have a team of ‘water carriers’ such as Lucas, Allen, Milner and Henderson. Yes one or maybe 2 during a game but at times last season we played with all 4.
Klopp has recognised this and has now effectively bought another 21 goals.
This is the approach we could go for. Full throttle 100mph gegenpressing style of football. This formation of 4-3-3 or 4-1-2-3 would allow us the forward line to strike fear into every, yes every Premier League team.
I remember that famous year when we had no European football. We came out attacking from the off. We can and must do the same.
Then, on the bench we’ll have Henderson and Milner who can take the sting out of the game, slow it down and allow us the win.
Or an alternative would be Lallana….he’ll provide something altogether different to Mane. Give the opponents defence something else to think about.
So the initial question…where will Wijnaldum fit in? I don’t know. I don’t think it matters. We’re slowly developing a quality squad all capable of being in our 1st team. All of a sudden we now have options. We haven’t been able to say that for a while.