Liverpool will be looking to maintain their one hundred per cent record when they take on Southampton at Anfield on Saturday.
Unsurprisingly, it is the attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino who are taking much of the acclaim for the Reds’ brilliant start to the new season.
However, Georginio Wijnaldum has also had an impressive start to the campaign, helping Jurgen Klopp’s side to dictate things from the middle of the park.
If Southampton want to get anything from Saturday’s game, as well as Liverpool’s forward line, the likes of Wijnaldum and James Milner — who is becoming so influential — will need to be restricted.
And one man who will likely be tasked with winning possession in midfield and launching counter-attacks is Mario Lemina.
So with that in mind, how do Wijnaldum and Lemina compare?
Wijnaldum’s game has changed significantly since arriving at Liverpool back in the summer of 2016.
At Newcastle and PSV Eindhoven, Wijnaldum was a deadly attacking midfielder, capable of reaching double figures in front of goal.
Klopp, however, has moved the Netherlands international into a deeper midfield position and, while he is no longer able to provide the same kind of goal threat he once did, he is still thriving, nonetheless.
The former PSV man retains possession well and is one of Klopp’s most effective players when the team starts to press.
The energy he provides and his tireless performances make him the ideal midfielder for the German boss and, overall, he has been a very shrewd acquisition for the club.
TT Grade: B+
Since his arrival at St. Mary’s, more often than not, Lemina has left Southampton supporters with the feeling that perhaps he could have done more in a game, which is more than fair enough.
Considering the ability he has, Lemina fades in and out of matches in a way he should not. And looking at the dangerous positions he can dribble into, his goal and assist return should probably be better.
The above, however, does not change the fact that Lemina can still offer a lot in the middle of the park.
As well as his dribbling ability, he is also a very capable passer who is not afraid to make tackles and, in general, is a talented box-to-box midfielder.
TT Grade: B
Both Wijnaldum and Lemina have been good midfield additions to Liverpool and Southampton.
However, Wijnaldum has more in his arsenal on the attacking side of things with his statistics from his time at Newcastle and the Eredivisie backing that up.
And while Wijnaldum, of course, originally played further forward than Lemina, they now find themselves in similar roles for their teams with the former performing at a more consistent level than the latter.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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