Georginio Wijnaldum may have had a stinker against Barcelona, being played out of position as a false #9, but should Liverpool win the Premier League this season, the Dutchman will be key to it. It hasn’t always been this good for Wijnaldum, though, as it was just three years ago he was relegated with Newcastle United.
That summer, the summer of 2016, saw the Magpies sell a number of players on as they suffered relegation. Wijnaldum was joined by Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend in departing St James Park, and Liverpool benefitted from the Geordies’ demise as they poached the Dutch midfielder.
Since then, Jurgen Klopp has turned Wijnaldum into a key cog in his Anfield machine, and we’ll be comparing his time at Newcastle to his time at Liverpool here.
GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM AT LIVERPOOL
Wijnaldum is a top player and on his day he can help run any midfield in the world. The Dutchman is just one of a number of smart coups that Klopp has pulled off when buying the best players from relegated clubs at cut prices. Andrew Robertson and Xherdan Shaqiri have been captured in similar ways, but Wijnaldum was the first and the biggest eye-raiser of the three.
If the Reds may have had doubts over the 28-year-old at first, those doubts have long been quashed. The former Newcastle man was an attacking midfielder in his days at St James Park, but at Anfield, he’s played pretty much every role there is to play in the middle of the park under Klopp. Wednesday wasn’t his finest night playing up front, but in midfield, he’s a boss and is more than deserving of a Premier League winner’s medal this season.
TT GRADE: A
GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM AT NEWCASTLE
Newcastle fans had just one season to enjoy the brilliance of Wijnaldum, and for the most part, it was ruined by the fact that Steven McLaren was in charge for the majority of the season. However, the Dutchman gave them some fantastic moments to remember. Signed from PSV Eindhoven for a tidy £14.5 million, his tally of 11 goals and five assists was impressive, and he didn’t deserve relegation.
With those kind of numbers from midfield, there was no way that the Geordies were going to be able to hold onto the star when they went down, and they all knew it. Liverpool came in and splurged £25 million on the Dutchman, pipping Spurs to his signature, and what a signing he’s turned out to be. There aren’t many players out there who can do what Wijnaldum does, and when he was at Newcastle the fans knew pretty quickly that he was destined for bigger things.
TT GRADE: B
The main thing to take from this is that Georginio Wijnaldum is a sublime footballer, and his time at both Newcastle and Liverpool has brought smiles to the fan’s faces.
However, with a single season ending in relegation at Newcastle compared to a number of impressive seasons, reaching a Champions League final and being in the title race at Anfield, there is only one way this battle can really go.
Who saw the best of Wijnaldum? Liverpool or Newcastle? Join the discussion by commenting below…
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience