After missing out on key midfield targets Piotr Zielinski and Mahmoud Dahoud, Jurgen Klopp has turned his attention to relegated Toon midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
At first glance the Dutch midfielder is an underwhelming target when you consider the Reds nearly even got Mario Gotze. However Wijnaldum scored 11 goals for Newcastle last season, despite the club going down. He was also demotivated playing in a team constantly losing, and it’s believed that his game will be raised under Klopp.
Furthermore, the Dutchman’s goalscoring and assist record was also outstanding before he joined Newcastle, racking them up at PSV. With Liverpool struggling to score goals from midfield, this is a move that makes sense.
Even Zielinski is not known to score as much, and Adam Lallana tends to lack a finish despite all his neat work. The question is whether Wijnaldum would operate in central midfield, probably ahead of a midfield two in a three-man midfield, or would he be one of the attacking three behind the striker?
It is unlikely that he would replace Jordan Henderson in the two, so the clue is that Zielinksi and Dahoud were also wanted to operate as attacking midfielders. This either means Liverpool still require a dominating central midfielder, or they’d just have to rely on keeping Joe Allen as backup for Henderson.
The Dutch midfielder could be sold for between 15 and 20 million pounds, and with former Anfield favourite Rafa Benitez in charge of Toon, the Spaniard could make negotiations easier for his old club. The Reds faced much frustration especially with the Udinese club that owned Zielinksi, the way they agreed the same offer for Italian clubs but not for them.