Why Georginio Wijnaldum would be a fantastic fit for Barcelona
According to AD (h/t The Express), Barcelona are eyeing a move for Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum as they plan of rebuilding the squad.
The report also suggests that new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has urged his compatriot to not sign a new contract with Liverpool as his current £75k-a-week deal with the club is set to expire at the end of the next season.
Born in the Netherlands, Wijnaldum started his journey with Sparta Rotterdam before coming through the youth ranks of Feyenoord. In four seasons with the latter’s senior team, he made 135 appearances and helped them lift the Dutch Cup before joining rivals PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2011.
In 154 appearances for Eindhoven, he managed to rack up 56 goals and 24 assists and also helped them lift the league title in 2013/14 and the Dutch Super Cup. In 2015, he was named the best Dutch footballer. He was then signed by Newcastle United, for whom he made 40 appearances before Liverpool snapped him up the following summer.
Since his arrival at Anfield, he has been an integral member of the squad and has played a key role in their Champions League-winning campaign. He also helped the Reds lift their first league title in 30 years this season.
Wijnaldum – A consistent and reliable midfielder
The La Liga giants have been inconsistent throughout the campaign as they fell behind Real Madrid in the race for the league title. They were also humiliated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League. This highlights the need for a change this summer.
At the moment, they have three established attack-minded midfielders in their ranks. Summer signing Frenkie de Jong hasn’t been at his best but is capable of doing well. Croatian ace Ivan Rakitic has struggled for form and consistency. He was left on the bench for the majority of the campaign.
Arturo Vidal received his fair share of game time but the Chilean has failed to make an impact. Moreover, he is already 33 and is reaching the twilight of his career. Apart from them, they have only youngsters Riqui Puig and Carles Alena, who just returned from a loan spell. Thus, an in-form midfielder is a must in the summer.
In that regard, Wijnaldum would be a valuable addition to the squad. He featured in 47 games across all competitions this past season. He has been a key figure in Liverpool’s midfield and has been consistent and reliable over the last few years. He could be a crucial figure for Barcelona next season.
Moreover, the Dutchman has already worked with Koeman in the national set-up. He has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and if he is able to continue with the fine form, he can make a difference in Barcelona’s midfield.
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With Rakitic and Vidal ageing and out of form, it is clear that Barcelona need an in-form and established midfielder. And Wijnaldum’s experience could come in handy for the club. Thus, they should manage to lure the former Newcastle man to Camp Nou this summer.