Following Georgino Wiljnaldum’s arrival at Anfield, we’ve documented the Dutch winger and what he can bring to Liverpool.
Born: Rotterdam, November 11, 1990
Clubs played for: Feyenoord – 23 goals in 123 matches (2006-2011), PSV Eindhoven – 41 goals in 109 matches (2011-2015), Newcastle United – 11 goals in 38 matches (2015-2016)
Awards: Rotterdam Talent Of The Year (2007), Dutch Player Of The Year (2014/2015)
This is a versatile midfielder who can play in the centre of the pitch, but also be used as an attacking midfielder. Length and weight (175 cm, 68 kg) suggests Wijnaldum is not a very strong player, but he is known to be fast.
Always on the run, he is also a player with a measure of stamina. Scoring eleven goals for Newcastle last season – and playing for a team that was relegated from the English Premier League – certainly adds up to a nice number of goals when he will now start playing for a team his new manager Jürgen Klopp wants to be a real challenger for the league title – a title and a trophy all Liverpool supporters around the world have been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for ever since 1991.
No Liverpool supporter’s demands of the players to make this next season ‘our season’ can be fulfilled immediately, but will be satisfied with a top four finish come May 2017. This attitude may prove well-advised in terms of the current players’ attitude and willingness to give it all, not only for the fans but for each other and themselves as individuals, too.
Gigi Wijnaldum has only collected nine yellow cards throughout his career, and has never been sent off. Wijnaldum is a highly gifted athlete. A great dribbler, an effective passer, possesses great pace, and has a high work rate. He seems best suited to play in an attacking midfielder position, but in the summer of 2014 (The World Cup in Brazil) Wijnaldum also proved to be capable of handling some defensive responsibilities as well.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Wijnaldum in December 2015, he said:
I am always searching for goals, and creating chances, from any position. If I can choose where I want to play, it is in the middle. But if I am needed to play on the left or right hand side, then I will do it. If it helps the team, it is good for me. I can help the team most if I play in my perfect position, as I think I can score more goals. The manager is the boss, and if he wants me to play in a position to help the team, I will do it.
Whilst some supporters may question Wijnaldum arriving at Liverpool as well as the dubious £25m price tag attached to the deal, it remains a conundrum whether he can repeat his superb individual performances from the Norwich game last year in which he scored four goals. His statistics from previous clubs are promising and he seems like the creative outlet we need. However, not only can he play as a midfielder, but he can also operate in the three striking positions behind the main attacker, which is useful for when Liverpool revert their formation from 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-2-1, for example.
However, that’s what Liverpool fans usually say when we sign a player with promising statistics from his old club, only to turn out a £16m flop, such as Balotelli. I think that Wijnaldum is going to be a success at the club. I’ll probably be mocked by rival supporters the moment he fails to make a good impression, but that’ll stay on here.
Written by Stephen Lindell (@SteLindell)