We think that next year, if Gini Wijnaldum departs on a free transfer, we’re going to really, really miss him.
He’s played every Premier League game this term, which cannot be said for any of our other – it has to be said – fairly injury prone midfielders.
Jordan Henderson is a better leader; Thiago a better controller; Naby Keita and Ox more dynamic through the lines – but none rack up as many minutes or perform as consistently.
Curtis Jones is coming through the ranks but we’ll be significantly weakened if Gini departs. In five weeks’ time, he can sign a pre-contract agreement with any club in Europe – and we can’t imagine there’ll be a shortage of suitors.
According to James Pearce in the Athletic, Wijnaldum is simply not adequately impressed with the deals that have so far been put on the table.
“He believes he merits a contract which reflects his level of contribution and his status. So far that hasn’t been put on the table and so he intends to consider his options carefully,” he writes.
“Wijnaldum’s attitude has been impeccable despite the ongoing uncertainty and there is certainly no chance of him being sold in January. But with every passing week, the chances of Wijnaldum staying on Merseyside beyond this season recede.
“On his return to the club after the September internationals, Wijnaldum held talks with Klopp and made it clear he was fully committed for the season ahead and happy to stay put. That was all Klopp wanted to hear. Their relationship remains strong.”
Where would we be without Gini this season? In fact, would we have won the Champions League and the Premier League in our past two seasons without his influence? No.
He’s in his thirties, but he’s never injured and about as fit as any player in the country. Give him a three or four year deal and pay him handsomely.