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Liverpool Reportedly Weighing Up New Georginio Wijnaldum Contract, Summer Sale

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2020

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Gini Wijnaldum of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United at Anfield on January 2, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly weighing up their options in relation to Georginio Wijnaldum's future, including the possibilities of giving him a new contract, selling him this summer or letting him leave next year for free. 

According to The Athletic's David Ornstein (h/t MailOnline's Danny Gallagher), Wijnaldum's current deal will run out in 2021, by which time he'll be 30.

The Reds are said to be content at the prospect of him moving on a free transfer after they've enjoyed a fifth season of service from him, but they're also looking at potentially handing him a new deal to extend his stay at the club.

Amid strong interest in him from La Liga and Serie A, Liverpool are also said to be considering selling him this summer to at least recoup the £25 million they spent buying him from Newcastle United.

The Netherlands international is a key player at Anfield and has started 19 of the Reds' 20 Premier League games this season, helping the team rack up 58 points and a 13-point lead atop the table.

He's a workhorse for manager Jurgen Klopp in midfield, helping to break up opponents' attacking play with tackles and well-timed interceptions. His strength and composure in possession means he rarely surrenders the ball, too.

As data analyst Dan Kennett observed, he tends to be at his most influential on the ball in Liverpool's biggest games:

Dan Kennett @DanKennett

The Wijnaldum Paradox is that the player has more touches as the quality of opponent increases. For all other LFC players, total touches goes ⬇️ as opposition quality goes ⬆️ As a team, LFC total touches go ⬆️ as opposition quality goes ⬇️ https://t.co/TLLXIzw4Q5

He put in an excellent performance when the Reds beat Manchester City 3-1 in November, as football statistician Dave O'Brien demonstrated:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Georginio Wijnaldum misplaced just a single pass against Manchester City. Tidy. 🇳🇱 https://t.co/ua2EbczOJI

Wijnaldum's defensive duties have limited his impact in the final third at Liverpool, where he has scored 16 goals in 166 appearances. The most recent of those came against Everton in December:

Amazon Prime Video Sport @primevideosport

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Georginio Wijnaldum adds a fifth for @LFC in a five-star Merseyside derby display 🔴 #PLonPrime #LIVEVE https://t.co/VKeFrGLnZN

He is a player who can be prolific from midfield if given the licence, though. He scored 11 goals in 40 games at Newcastle, and 56 in 154 matches before that at PSV Eindhoven.

Wijnaldum's form at Liverpool, particularly over the last two seasons, has been good enough to warrant an extended stay at the club.

He's also young enough that he should still have plenty more time at the top level, although it would be understandable if the club were reluctant to give him a long-term contract that extended well into his 30s.

If they part with him this summer, they'd still have Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to perform similar work in midfield and have the funds to bring in a replacement or take their midfield in another direction.

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