Liverpool Opinion: The Reds should offer Georginio Wijnaldum a new deal
Liverpool have successfully tied down their core of first-team stars to new contracts in recent times, with the likes of Andrew Robertson, Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane all committing their long-term future at Anfield by putting pen to paper on fresh deals with improved terms.
Although Wijnaldum has been left out, the 27-year-old feels that the Reds will eventually offer him a new deal if he manages to keep up his good work and helps the team bag some silverware. (h/t Daily Mail)
With the likes of Salah, Firmino and Mane stealing much of the limelight, the Dutchman has once again been the unsung hero of Liverpool’s successful season in the Premier League as the Reds look to hold off Man City’s challenge to claim their first domestic title in 28 years.
Wijnaldum has been one of the first names on Klopp’s team sheet this term as well, making a total of 35 appearances in all competitions and scoring twice. The Dutchman has made a total of 127 appearances for the Reds over the course of two-and-a-half seasons at Anfield, accumulating 10 goals and 16 assists.
Those returns might look quite meagre, but in all honesty, his contribution to the team has been no less than players like Mo Salah up front or Virgil van Dijk at the back. Wijnaldum, though capable of playing as an attacking midfielder in a more advanced role, has had to be content with No.8 and No.6 roles in Klopp’s preferred 4-3-3 system.
However, he has proven his versatility by delivering the goods consistently, impressing with his uncompromised work-rate on and off the ball and contributing to the build-up play in the midfield.
An indispensable component of Klopp’s high-intensity pressing philosophy, Wijnaldum not only keeps things ticking in the middle of the park with his wonderful range of passing but he also chips in with crucial tackles and interceptions to break up the play.
The Dutchman is never afraid to get his hands dirty, always willing to stick his foot out when needed. His ability to link-up with his teammates in the build up to the goals cannot be ignored either.
The 27-year-old boasts of a pass success percentage of 91.3 in the Premier League this term, which shows that he has done exactly what the manager has asked of him.
To put things into perspective, Liverpool need to keep hold of their current core of first-team players to build a strong platform for continued success. The Reds lost stalwarts like Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona a few years back and they won’t want the same thing to happen to their existing stars.
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Wijnaldum is certainly one of Liverpool’s prized assets and one of Klopp’s most trusted players. With the Dutchman set to enter the last two years of his contract at the end of the season, Liverpool might find themselves susceptible to offers for the 27-year-old.
Hence, securing his long-term future with a new contract would be in the best interests of their objective of building a formidable unit for the years to come.