Liverpool were amongst the teams to change their manager midway last season, after Brendan Rodgers was sacked following which Jurgen Klopp was brought in. The German did a fantastic job in the little time he had. Although he took Liverpool to two cup finals, he couldn’t cross the final hurdle and finished with two runner-up medals. However this year, the former Borussia Dortmund manager will get a full pre-season under his belt, he will have the chance to buy the players he likes and get his ideas across to the team.
Klopp has already brought quality players in the form of Loris Karius, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Sadio Mane. However, we are pretty certain his shopping isn’t done for the summer, and there will be at least one or two more players arriving at Anfield before the window shuts end of August. According to Sky sources, Liverpool have agreed to a deal in the region of £25m with Newcastle United for midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. The Dutch midfielder joined Newcastle from PSV Eindhoven last summer, scoring 11 goals in his debut season in 38 games. He was one of the few bright sparks in what was otherwise a very disappointing season for the Magpies.
Wijnaldum is a versatile attacking midfielder who can play either on the wings left or right or even slot in centrally from where he can orchestrate the play going forward. It will be interesting to see how Klopp decides to use the Dutchman. If the manager decides to go with a 4-2-3-1 formation then he will have the option of using Wijnaldum as one of the central midfielders behind someone like Coutinho or he can also push him forward as the number 10 behind the striker and move Coutinho on the wings. What is interesting here is that Wijnaldum usually prefers to float between the number 10 and the central midfield position, something that will be best suited to the 4-2-3-1 formation Klopp generally goes with.
It’s also possible that Klopp is getting Wijnaldum not to play a single specific role but use him as an option for various formations and positions. Players like Wijnaldum are huge assets to have in a squad that is still figuring out its roots under a new manager. With both Mane and Wijnaldum in the team next season, Klopp has added goals to his team along with pace and power. It will also be interesting to see who will make way for the duo, given that Henderson, Milner and Lallana figured prominently last season after Klopp rejuvenated them.
Wijnaldum will definitely be contesting for a place in the starting XI, given the huge investment Klopp is making in getting him to Merseyside. He is a talented player, who did superbly well last season in a team that eventually got relegated.