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Georginio Wijnaldum - the perfect Klopp player for Liverpool’s home games

Thursday 16th March 2017
If Jurgen Klopp keeps him on the bench in the away fixtures, I won't raise an eyebrow. But when Liverpool plays at Anfield and his name is not on the starting XI, every Liverpool faithful should be worried. Georginio Wijnaldum is the man for the home fixtures and has been labelled a perfect Klopp player.

Georginio Wijnaldum is one player who went from being someone with no interest in football whatsoever to playing football at the biggest and highest level. Wijnaldum has his grandmother to thank for being the sole parental figure that helped him kindle the love for the beautiful game after his biological parents had gone through a divorce.

He was once quoted as saying during his acceptance speech after being named Dutch footballer of the year:
“I stayed with my grandma until the age of 18. She took care of me and she took me to school and to football.”
Nicknamed the Gini, Wijnaldum grew up playing football for Sparta Rotterdam where he would have a dazzling youth career, before being convinced to leave the club for more experience with Feyenoord.

It was at Feyenoord where Wijnaldum would grow into becoming one of the hottest youth prospects in Dutch football. One man that had a lot of influence on the career of Georginio Wijnaldum, was then Feyenoord manager, Erwin Koeman. Koeman had spotted the innate potential of the 16-year-old youth player and invited him to join the senior team. With the senior team of Feyenoord, ‘Gini' became a fixture in the starting lineup and his name began to echo around the world of Dutch football.

In 2011, Feyenoord could no longer keep such an interesting player within their ranks, and being cash-strapped they cashed in on Georginio Wijnaldum and accepted €5 million from PSV Eindhoven for his services.
At PSV, Wijnaldum matured from the talented youth prospect he was at Feyenoord to the big number 10 who would take the Eredivisie by storm. By the age of 24, he was already skipper of the PSV Eindhoven team that won the Eredivisie in 2014-2015. That same season, he was voted the Dutch footballer of the year.

It was no surprise when Newcastle paid £14 million to PSV Eindhoven for his services in 2015. For the sole season he was with Newcastle, Wijnaldum scored 11 goals and provided 5 assists. Among those goals, none came in an away game – he scored and produced his most breathtaking of performances all at St. James' Park – including hitting four against Norwich in October 2015.

Last summer, Georginio Wijnaldum became one of the big-money buys of Jurgen Klopp's reign, after completing a £25 million move from Newcastle United. Considering the fact that Liverpool already had Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane who could perfectly play the attacking role, many of us wondered where Gini might fit in. However, he has since settled nicely into Klopp's attacking midfield triangle – scoring 5 Premier League goals this season (including that ‘poacher's' equaliser against Burnley last weekend).
But just as was the case when he was at Newcastle last term, Wijnaldum has failed to register an away goal since joining the Merseyside giants. Gini has so far scored 16 goals in 32 Premier League home matches and none in 32 away games – what does that tell you?

When a reporter who made his way into the Liverpool dressing room asked the question: “what  does Georginio Wijnaldum do?” the reply he got is – “ the perfect Klopp player! ” the reason for this answer is not far-fetched; Georginio Wijnaldum exudes tact, technique, speed, and a deep understanding of Jurgen Klopp's Gengenpressing style – he's shown this on countless occasions.

So whatever accusations and bad press ‘Gini' might've gotten for and from his performance in away games; for me, he's Jurgen Klopp's perfect man, at least for the games at Anfield.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.


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