Jamie Redknapp has downplayed the impact of Liverpool potentially losing Gini Wijnaldum this summer on a free, stating that the player “is not irreplaceable”, as reported by the Mirror.
The Dutchman is yet to agree a contract extension at Anfield, with it looking increasingly likely that he will part ways with the club in light of strong interest from Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona.
“Wijnaldum has been a brilliant signing for Liverpool. His energy levels are fantastic but they have a feeling that, long-term, giving a player that much money until he is 33 or 34 – they don’t want to do it,” the former Red told the Press Association. “I am sure Jurgen Klopp won’t want to lose him as you can’t deny he is a fantastic player but he is not irreplaceable, you can find players like him, and Liverpool will be in the market trying to find the next Wijnaldum.”
Are we underestimating just how important Wijnaldum is to this Liverpool side?
With the No.5 playing a more understated role at the club in comparison to Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho, it’s difficult for many to clearly observe Wijnaldum’s importance as part of Jurgen Klopp’s setup at Liverpool.
He’s not simply a solid figure in possession but, particularly in light of the injury crisis this term, a reliable professional that the German has been able to turn to throughout the season.
Replacing the midfielder’s specific skillset will be a challenge in itself but finding an exact carbon copy that can be consistently counted on to file out for us for over 30 games in a league campaign is another thing entirely.
Some names have been tossed about with a view to filling a potential gap in the squad, however, and we’d certainly echo the idea that the recruitment team will be working hard to identify a suitable replacement should Gini depart.