Liverpool’s summer business in terms of incomings is believed to be over following the arrival on Calvin Ramsay from Aberdeen over the weekend.
The right-back, along with Fabio Carvalho and Darwin Nunez, represents a positive window for the Reds as they’ve added quality to key areas of the squad. One position that’s been left untouched, however, is midfield with the understanding it will be a priority for Jurgen Klopp in 2023.
According to The Irish Daily Star, there have been ‘whispers’ Liverpool could explore a loan move for former star Georginio Wijnaldum as a ‘stop-gap’ signing until then. The Dutchman had a difficult season at Paris Saint-Germain after he left Anfield on a free transfer last summer.
Our writers Hannah Pinnock and Richard Garnett discuss whether it would be a good move for Liverpool… and you can join the debate in the comments section.
‘Low risk, high reward’
Hannah: Who better to replace Wijnaldum, than Wijnaldum himself?
I felt it was a risk to not replace him last summer, given how integral he was to our success in recent years. He was always available and was an absolute workhorse in that midfield.
Now, it seems we’re set to go through another campaign without replacing him. We got quite lucky with injuries last season but the sheer number of minutes definitely caught up with us towards the end.
Our signings this summer may hint towards a formation change, but if Klopp is looking to stick with his trusted 4-3-3, I feel the Dutchman would represent a very low risk, high reward signing. There’s no denying Thiago, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and to some extend, Fabinho, have had their injury concerns in recent times.
No midfielder played more minutes than Wijnaldum in his last four seasons with the club. In 2020/21, only Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson played more. PSG signed a quality midfielder and it’s a shame it hasn’t quite worked out for him.
If the Ligue 1 champions are to replace Mauricio Pochettino this summer, the 31-year-old may fancy his chances under a new manager. But if he is to leave Paris on loan, Liverpool would do themselves no harm by putting themselves in the competition.
He knows the club, he knows the players, he knows the manager and most importantly – he knows the system. Wijnaldum would be the perfect short-term solution as the club works to identify their long-term target.
‘Liverpool have managed pretty well without him’
Richard: They say you should never go back, don’t they? Although it’s not strictly true. Ian Rush did – successfully – and so did Robbie Fowler. But do Liverpool really want to bring a 31-year-old midfielder back into a side that is evolving?
Wijnaldum’s Anfield exit 12 months ago was not enforced. Supporters were disappointed to see him leave, but his mind was made up. The Dutchman could seek a better contract elsewhere and did just that. Fair enough.
The club adapted without an experienced midfielder and although there were times last season when they most definitely could have done with a Gini Wijnaldum, a season in which Liverpool came agonisingly close to sweeping the board on trophies suggests that they managed pretty well without him.
Furthermore, players such as Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott are only going to develop further if they are granted game time, which a return of the Dutchman would surely minimise.
The romantic in me says the return of Wijnaldum would be a lovely thing. But the pragmatist overrules and says Paris Saint-Germain can carry on paying his wages instead. How they utilise him on the field is up to them.
What is your take on Liverpool re-signing Wijnaldum? Let us know in the comments section below…