While a lot of the attention has been on Philippe Coutinho’s rise for Brazil and Adam Lallana’s growing importance to England, Georginio Wijnaldum has quietly developed as a key figure in the Dutch setup.
The Liverpool man put in another solid display on Friday to help the Netherlands beat Luxembourg 5-0 in their World Cup qualifier. Wijnaldum and his teammates currently sit third in Group A, behind second place France, who lost 2-1 to leaders Sweden on the same night.
Wijnaldum impressed in newly-appointed manager Dick Advocaat’s first game in charge, replicating the kind of all-action performances that saw him emerge as a key figure under Jurgen Klopp for his club last season.
The former Newcastle man was at hand to somewhat command the midfield, not only contributing bursting runs into the final third and drifting to help out in wider areas but also carrying out his defensive responsibilities and proving to be a reliable distributor from a deep-lying role. While his ability to regain possession caught the eye, so did his attacking instinct as he got himself in the right position to fire home a rebound and get himself on the score-sheet.
Here’s a look at Gini’s best bits…
Friday’s round of international fixtures also saw Philippe Coutinho shine in a slim 1-0 defeat for Brazil against fierce rivals Argentina, while defender Ragnar Klavan featured in Estonia’s 2-0 defeat to Belgium, in which Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi were on the bench.