Gini Wijnaldum

The driving force behind Jürgen Klopp’s successful five-year stint at Liverpool has been the irrepressible midfield engine he has instilled since arriving at Merseyside. 

It took years to develop and recruit the perfect personnel in Georginio Wijnaldum and Fabinho, but their famous midfield trio alongside captain Jordan Henderson never looked back since.

Wijnaldum, a key component in Klopp’s Gegenpressing style, evolved from a roving number eight to a deeper role where he dictated the press from midfield and plugged gaps in behind when the fullbacks flew forward. 

That adaptation was key in transforming the Reds into the winning machine they are today and recognition for the Dutchman’s selfless service was recognized by the fans who showed their appreciation in his Anfield farewell at the end of last season.

Betway Nigeria

Five years of running himself into the ground and giving his all for the team were topped off by a fine individual campaign at Euro 2020, where his forward runs were instrumental for the Dutch.

The 30-year-old’s world-class presence will be missed across the centre of Liverpool’s park, which begs the question; Who will replace Gini Wijnaldum?

With Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain not being reliable due to fitness concerns, adding another quality midfielder makes sense for the Reds.

Top Transfer Candidates

Youri Tielemans and Renato Sanches are frontrunners and are regarded as perfect replacements for Wijnaldum, whilst names like Florian Neuhaus, Yves Bissouma, and Saúl Ňíguez are all thought to be under consideration by the Reds.

Sheffield midfielder Sander Berge and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa of Fulham have also been earmarked and it is easy to see why, given the financial climate. 

Sander Berge
Liverpool could actualize long-standing interest with a shrewd swoop for Sander Berge. (Getty Images)

Liverpool are shrewd at picking up bargains and have a good history of doing so.

The Reds do have an enviable track record when it comes to signing talent from recently relegated clubs, and in fact, Wijnaldum was signed from Newcastle after their relegation from the Premier League in 2016. The exclusive list also includes Xherdan Shaqiri and Andrew Robertson.

They have so far stopped short of making a move for a midfielder as they did not receive a fee from Wijnaldum’s exit and the aforementioned replacements will cost a considerable amount. 

It remains to be seen whether FSG is willing to open a scanty purse, which leads to the next possibility.

A Gem from Within

Liverpool’s reluctance so far in the transfer window can perhaps point to an already-existing solution.
Home-grown star Curtis Jones made 34 appearances scoring four goals and five assists during the 2020/21 campaign, and looks set to step into Wijnaldum’s big boots next season.

Curtis Jones

Liverpool may yet bring in a more established midfielder but Klopp seems more than happy to rely on the 20-year-old. Jones developed through the ranks as an attack-minded midfielder, however, he is undergoing a Wijnaldum-like evolution and seems keen to embrace the box-to-box role.

The England U21 International grew up idolizing Steven Gerrard and is relishing the opportunity to follow the Rangers manager’s footsteps. Scousers would also be thoroughly backing the local lad to effectively replace a fan favourite.

Nevertheless, going away from a key ingredient that won them the Champions League, Premier League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup must be navigated with caution.

Klopp would typically back his player in public and must secretly hope there is a smooth transition into the pressure and challenges that lie ahead.
Indeed, the Liverpool faithful would back any final decisions all the way. 


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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