One of the most important players in Liverpool’s recent streak of success is officially a former Liverpool player today after Paris Saint-Germain announced that they had signed Gini Wijnaldum, 30, for a free transfer.
Wijnaldum’s departure from the Reds this summer had been a given for some time, with the only question in recent months being where he would end up. For a long time, Barcelona seemed the most likely answer. There where also murmurs of Italian interest.
The only real surprise, then, is that in the end it is PSG that he joins. Although even that was a widely shared secret for at least a few weeks after the French side fell, offering double the pay of Barcelona – who had offered to double their pay at Liverpool.
Wijnaldum signed for Liverpool in the summer of 2016, joining Newcastle on a £ 23million deal and signing a five-year deal. In those five seasons in red he won the Champions League, Super Cup, Club World Cup and Premier League.
In total, he made 237 appearances for Liverpool and averaged 49 appearances per season for the Reds after his first season at the club. No midfielder has played more minutes for Jürgen Klopp’s side in the past four years, collectively or in a single season, than Wijnaldum.
In addition to his ubiquity in the midfield of the most successful Liverpool side of the Premier League era, his extreme resistance to the press and calm in high pressure situations as well as his tactical flexibility and intelligence exceptional match made it indispensable.
For PSG, then, they will gain a potentially invaluable piece of the Champions League puzzle that they are trying to build. For Liverpool, there is now officially a void in the middle of the midfield that it is hard to imagine the club being able to successfully fill with the pieces they currently have.
And for Wijnaldum, of course, there is a new challenge as well as a last big well-deserved salary for a player who may not be a big flash but who is unmistakably one of the best technicians and tacticians in the game in the middle. of the park.