Garth Crooks explains why Liverpool FC shouldn't sell Georginio Wijnaldum
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks raves about Georginio Wijnaldum's continued importance to Liverpool FC
Garth Crooks has underlined Georginio Wijnaldum’s continued importance to the Liverpool FC despite reported interest from FC Barcelona.
The Netherlands international was heavily linked with a move to FC Barcelona in the 2020 summer transfer window following Ronald Koeman’s appointment at Camp Nou.
Wijnaldum has been a key part of Liverpool FC’s success under Jurgen Klopp after the Dutch midfielder won the Premier League, the Champions League, the Uefa Super Cup and the Fifa World Club Cup.
However, 30-year-old has less than 12 months left to run on his current deal at Liverpool FC to raise questions about his future at the defending Premier League champions.
Wijnaldum was linked with a potential switch to FC Barcelona after the former Netherlands boss took over the reins at the Spanish giants.
Thiago Alcantara’s arrival at Anfield in a £30m deal from Bayern Munich in the summer only served to intensify suggestions Wijnaldum was close to a departure.
However, Wijnaldum has made 15 appearances in all competitions for the defending Premier League champions this season.
The Dutch midfielder produced his best performance of the Premier League campaign so far in Liverpool FC’s 3-0 victory over Leicester City on Sunday night.
Former Spurs striker Crooks explained why he believes the reported FC Barcelona target still has a big role to play at Liverpool FC.
“I’m surprised this lad is still at Anfield,” Crooks told BBC Sport. “At one point I was almost certain that fellow Dutchman Ronald Koeman was going to take Wijnaldum to Barcelona.
“It made sense, of course. Wijnaldum is perfect for the Spanish giants but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp didn’t even dignify the rumours with a response and it wasn’t long before it was clear that Wijnaldum was going nowhere.
“For me, the Netherlands international is a coach’s dream. He works his socks off in every game and, in the absence of Jordan Henderson, is the player who links the back four to the front three.
“The tackle by Leicester’s Nampalys Mendy on Wijnaldum was late enough to have received a red card, but it didn’t because the Liverpool player didn’t make a fuss. I wish there were more like that.”
Wijnaldum moved to Liverpool FC in a £25m deal from Newcastle United in the 2016 summer transfer window.
The Reds will host Atalanta in the Champions League at Anfield on Wednesday night before Liverpool FC make the trip to Brighton on Saturday lunchtime.