Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over Wolves showed everyone even with a constant flurry of injury problems it won’t stop them defending their Premier League crown.
In a game filled with incredible individual performances, one player shone above the rest.
The ever-present Georginio Wijnaldum often goes under the radar, but his unbelievable performance allied with his consistent displays this season shows how important he is to Jurgen Klopp’s team.
If a side was to be created made up of the most under-rated and under-appreciated players in the Premier League, then Gini Wijnaldum would be at the top of everyone’s list.
Due to Liverpool’s increasing injury crisis this season the 30-year-old has now played a remarkable six games in 17 days without a rest and started the last 11 games for both club and country.
Gini Wijnaldum is a machine. This is his 11th successive start for club and country over the past five weeks. No breather for him. He's absolutely relentless. #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) December 6, 2020
His ability to stay fit and keep himself available for every game is just one of the reasons the Dutch international is so important to Jurgen Klopp.
With what seems to be a new player getting injured every week, Wijnaldum is always there to keep the Reds ticking.
Speaking to Liverpool.com, Wijnaldum said: “Even when the physios at the club ask me how I feel and if I need extra treatment, I’m quite surprised that I’m not that tired.
“I obviously am after a game, but I’m lucky that I recover really quick and can go again.”
His performances often gets overlooked however, his sensational displays this season have finally started to get the notice and credit they deserve.
Observe him closely and you’ll see why Liverpool’s number 5 is so under-appreciated.
He goes about each game quietly doing his job.
He is one of the best in the league with his ability to retain possession along with his ability to win the ball back, his immense work-rate, and his close control and dribbling.
But what people don’t notice as much is his positioning.
The way Liverpool play with their full backs pushed so high means it leaves a lot of space in behind.
However, in many games Wijnaldum is seen covering in the full-back position, picking up any loose balls or stopping any potential counter attacks.
Again, not only proving his importance but his versatility to this Liverpool team.
The Dutch international has now played 203 games for the Reds, scoring 20 times and laying off 11 assists.
Many people question his attacking ability for his club especially when he seems to score goals for fun when playing for his country.
However, this is because for club and country he plays two completely different roles.
He his deployed in the number 10 role for Holland and is one of their main attacking threats whereas for Liverpool he slots in the 6 focusing more on the defensive side of play.
If anything, this just illustrates that Wijnaldum is the complete midfielder.
When he does get his name upon the scoresheet, he saves it for the big occasion. Most notably his two goals in the Champions League semi-final comeback victory over Barcelona in 2019 which will go down in football history.
He also scored in the semi-final of the same competition the year before against Roma.
On the last day of the 2016/17 season he scored the first goal to ease the nerves in a must win game for Liverpool, to help secure Champions League football for the following campaign.
Other big goals include winners against Manchester City and Sheffield United, along with a well taken finish in last season’s Merseyside derby.
Wijnaldum might not be a natural goal-scorer or set up that many chances, but he always shows up when Liverpool need him the most.
He is always fit and available giving his all for 90 minutes every game without a seconds rest. He has cemented himself in a part of Liverpool’s illustrious history being a key figure in Jurgen Klopp’s record-breaking team.
He has helped the Reds win their 6th Champions League as well as securing the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and the Premier League, Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years.
Therefore, questions need to be asked to why Liverpool are yet to offer him a new contract. The 30-year-old runs out of contract next summer and European clubs can start approaching him in January.
Over the course of his five seasons with the club Wijnaldum has been one of Liverpool’s most important players, to lose him on a free next summer would be a huge regret for Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds boss speaking with Amazon Prime responded to a question regarding whether Wijnaldum will sign a new deal.
“I hope so, to be honest. You can see that he plays all the time. We have a pretty good relationship. I hope so.
Wijnaldum was also asked questions regarding his contract situation. The midfielder told Amazon Prime.
“I already said in my previous interview, I don’t talk about my contract situation, I talk about the game. The club talks about my contract.
There’s a connection, there was a connection from the first moment I came here, the supporters supported me a lot, but it’s not for me to talk about.”
Wijnaldum is certainly loved by the Liverpool fans, and many of them took to social media to show their appreciation for their number 5.
I really, really don’t want us to lose Gini Wijnaldum. Give him the keys to the City, imo.
— Ben Webb (@BenWebbLFC) December 6, 2020
Can we appreciate Gini Wijnaldum.
Has turned up every game this season and hasn’t had a minutes rest.
What. A. Player.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) December 1, 2020
6 games in 17 days.
Still bursting forward last night on 90+3
UCL, PL, Super Cup and CWC winner
A key member of our squad
Can play the 6 or 8
Get that contract signed.
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) December 2, 2020
Liverpool need to act quick to draft up a new contract for Wijnaldum, they certainly don’t want to lose one of their star players, especially on a free transfer.
Georginio Wijnaldum’s importance to this Liverpool team should never be questioned.
Undoubtedly one of the most under-rated and under-appreciated players in world football. Lets hope the club offers him the contract he thoroughly deserves.
Photo credits: Эдгар Брещанов