It seems like that the Liverpool fans still need some time to get over the fact that Timo Werner has agreed to sign for Chelsea and a section of the fans are blaming the owners for this mishap. However, there is one other aspect that these fans have failed to appreciate, and it is the fact that Gini Wijnaldum could be playing for a different outfit from the 2021-22 season onwards.
Goal reports that Barcelona are admirers of the player, amid the uncertainty about his contract situation. The Dutchman remains a vital man in Klopp’s team, and there could be an imminent need to replace him.
The confusion regarding the contract
While many blame the Liverpool board for not bringing in enough players in the past couple of seasons, others point out that the club have successfully tied down the most vital players in a long term contract. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk have all committed their long term future to the club, keeping the core of the team intact.
However, that has not been the case with Wijnaldum as all negotiations with the player have failed. The German manager still considers him as a vital member of the squad and this failure to extend his contract beyond the summer of 2021 may prove costly for the side.
Wijnaldum’s role at Liverpool
The 29-year-old may not be the flashiest member of the squad, but the manager can rely upon his services week in week out. Throughout all these years, his injury record has been great, and even this season he has featured in 28 Premier League games. Not really a goalscorer, Wijnaldum tends to get lost among his star-studded teammates, but he has been used as an anchor in the centre of the pitch. Hardly has he been given the freedom to move forward, unlike in the Dutch national team, as a result of which his offensive output has been low.
However, what is noteworthy is the fact that Wijnaldum has completed 90.9% of his total passes this season in the league, clearly indicating the kind of influence he has in the midfield of the European champions. The sort of firepower that Liverpool possesses at the front end of the pitch need a balancing act in the midfield. Moreover, the two wing-backs also tend to move forward and help the side in the attack, stressing the further need of players who would be able to recover the ball for the team in the central-midfield position.
Henderson and Wijnaldum have been doing that job for the side brilliantly, and much of the team’s success depends on them. Therefore, losing a player of this quality could be a disaster in the making for the Reds. Indeed other players in the side can step in the midfield, namely Fabinho, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain, but the latter two are more qualified in making advances and joining the team in the attack. In this respect, the gaffer needs someone like Wijnaldum who can be the anchor in centre midfield.
Stats from Whoscored.