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07 Jan 2021 10:41:28
Reading some of the discussions about Wijnaldum's contract situation, and also recalling that a lot of people would have been happy for him to go last summer if that had been the only way that we could have got Thiago.

I think I've seen him described as only performing well recently because he's trying to get a new contract and if he gets the new contract he'll go back to under-performing. Also described as an average player in a golden period, or something similar.

I really think we're under-appreciating him and what he does for the team. Ok, he doesn't do things that grab the headlines every week but he is absolutely a key component of the engine room of this incredibly successful team. Retains possession even in very tight situations, looks to attack, runs all day, can get goals if given opportunity to play further forward, incredibly fit, almost never injured. I checked some stats. Since Klopp took over as manager, there are only two players who have made more appearances for Liverpool than Wijnaldum, and that's without him having even been at the club in Klopp's first season. So we're talking about one of the key components of the most successful period that we've had for over 30 years.

Some of the comments imply that we've achieved all of this success despite Wijnaldum being in the team. That he's an average and under-performing player but we've got away with that because the rest of the team is so good. You don't reach two Champions League finals in successive years and hit record breaking points tallies two years running if one of the players in the key central midfield areas is a passenger.

We signed Wijnaldum for about £25m. We don't have a ready made like-for-like replacement for him. To sign a ready-made replacement would cost money that we probably don't have at the moment, so if the sticking point in contract negotiations is that Wijnaldum wants an extra year, I think it makes sense to give it to him. He fits the profile for a player who could easily maintain very high standards until mid-30s. Clearly very physically fit and without any injury history that could start to take it's toll. We've seen with Milner how valuable it is to have an experienced player who can come into the side and perform to a high standard in various positions whilst moving into the final years of their career.

Agree6 Disagree0

07 Jan 2021 11:45:08
RR great post. I'm a big fan of Gini and afraid people will understand the extent of what he brings to this team every week when he's gone.

07 Jan 2021 11:57:51
I can't say I have seen a great deal of negative comment about Wijnaldum on these pages but you make some excellent points about his all-round contribution.

I just wonder whether it is a question of timing, lots of clubs have rigid transfer policies for players in their thirties and Michael Edwards gets praise for the way in which he manages the finances at LFC. It would have been better if it had been sorted out 18 months ago but I don't see the club setting a new policy for GW.

07 Jan 2021 12:56:38
He should get an extra year if that's his only demand. Ed001 did point out that he might be playing at his 100% just for a contract but I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt and pray that his levels don't dip.

Also, as you already pointed out we are skint right now and we will need whatever we can raise for other positions in the summer.

07 Jan 2021 13:01:54
Gini is underrated by a lot of the fans, a player that will be missed when he goes. Loads of fans bang on about Milner who I also like but he couldn’t play week in week out at ginis level. The bloke is 36 but a lot of fans cry at the thought of losing him yet would be happy to see gini leave? Sorry I don’t get it at all.

07 Jan 2021 14:41:21
I'd personally let Gini go in the Summer to allow Jones the chance to become a regular starter next season.

07 Jan 2021 14:51:30
If I was letting any midfielder go it would be Keita and then Milner, purely because of his age. For me Gini is a must keep. Jones would be competing for the 3 midfield spots just like everybody else.

07 Jan 2021 15:44:49
It’s a delicate mix, the midfield 3.
If you went Fabinho, Thiago and Henderson, which seems to be most people’s first choice, you may gain more control and creativity with the ball but lose some of the work rate off it that the addition of Wijnaldum would add.
This could be fine for some games or situations but not others.
I’ve always said that I hope the club keeps him, and that a compromise between both parties is found.

07 Jan 2021 16:35:52
Totally agree on finding a compromise, albeit not being held to ransom.

I wasn't a Gini fan to start off with and couldn't understand why we "wasted" (in my view at that time! ) £25m on him.

However, I can now see how he is so important to the team.

But, I wouldn't break the bank or our structures for him. Yes, there may not be anyone else like him in the current set up, but I remember similar arguments with Couts - "who are we going to find to play the Couts role? ". In my view, the mark of a great manager is his adaptability. To find a winning formation around the group of players that he has.

If we can't fix it with Gini, I know that Klopp will find another solution - maybe including Jones? - for the types of games where Gini would have been suited.

07 Jan 2021 16:41:36
Gini is very comfortable on the ball and good at ball retention in tight spaces but it cannot be denied that he does often go missing and doesn’t influence games as he should, much like Keita but to a far lesser extent. When compared side by side with other midfielders we gave sought to replace him with, such as Thiago and Bissouma, the stats back this up. A very good player but not world class as everyone is making him out to be, although he has been exceptional this season, i would be in favour letting him go and bringing in Bissouma to keep the age profile of the team down and because he will be a genuine improvement in time.

07 Jan 2021 16:46:49
I don't think Gini is close to the wages Henderson and Milner are on and certainly not Thiago.

07 Jan 2021 16:48:56
How about grujic replacing gini? Worth a try I guess.



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