In an interesting interview with Voetbal Internacional published on June 9th, Gini Wijnaldum has once again raised questions over the reason for his Liverpool exit.
You can read the full transcript here but the most interesting line seems to suggest again that we are yet to fully understand the reason for his Liverpool departure but as he gets set to captain the Netherlands at the EUROs, we will have to wait to see the whole picture.
He said: “There are many supporters who ask me why I didn’t just accept the offer from Liverpool to extend my contract.
“But of course, it’s not just that. It’s about much more than that. There are things happening behind the scenes that you cannot influence as a player.
“I will explain that after the tournament because now only Orange counts.”
It seems like almost all we’ve spoken about in the last several months is Wijnaldum and Ibrahima Konate and with the Frenchman already confirmed as a Liverpool player, some fans on Twitter are already growing impatient for more action in the transfer market.
Of course, with the window only opening officially on Wednesday, there’s no need to rush and with Wijnaldum’s move to PSG complete, that chapter is almost over but closure won’t be had until he reveals his side of the story.
Fabrizio Romano has been close to PSG’s hijacking of Barcelona’s free-agent move to sign the Dutchman. He reported via Twitter: “Wijnaldum has signed his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, confirmed and done deal.
“Agreement until June 2024. Gini changed his mind – he’s not joining Barça and he’s now a new PSG player.”
Wijnaldum’s industry and fitness will be major losses but his press resistance is arguably the biggest miss for Liverpool. Yet, while a new midfielder is needed, Jurgen Klopp has already signed his replacement for the Dutchman and we simply haven’t realised it yet.
Thiago Alcantara. The maestro moved to Liverpool for £27million and will be the man to partner Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in central midfield next season.
There were whisperings last summer that Wijnaldum would go to Bayern Munich as part of a swap deal for the Spaniard and while that wasn’t the case, as he exits the club this summer, Klopp already has his man.
In the run-in to the end of the Premier League season, Thiago and Fabinho were crucial to the Reds finishing in the top three, with Wijnaldum being rested at times but nobody thought much of it seeing as the Dutchman played so much football this season.
Thiago is 30 as well but his style of play doesn’t rely on industry and endurance as much as Wijnaldum’s does as the former Barcelona midfielder dictates the game’s tempo with his peerless passing and vision.
We have been deprived of the opportunity to see the best of Thiago due to the injury crisis at the club this season but with Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson expected to be fit for the start of the new season, here is what my ideal starting XI for the first game of the new campaign would look like.
Alisson, Robertson, van Dijk, Konate, Trent, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Mane, Salah, Raphinha.
This would be a Premier League-winning side and one that would do the business without worrying about other sides’ results as was the case toward the end of this season.