Georginio Wijnaldum: Where does the future lie for Liverpool's flying Dutchman?
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on December 27, 2020 in Liverpool, England. A limited number of fans (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Liverpool have been drowned with injuries this season losing vital players such as Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. These vacancies have caused Liverpool to rearrange their starting XI, pulling players like Fabinho out of position to fill in at centre back.

With players out of position, Jurgen Klopp has had to rely on consistent performers more than ever and no one has been more dependable than Georginio Wijnaldum. The Netherlands international has the most minutes for a midfielder in the Premier League for Liverpool this season with 1441 minutes on the clock. This is also the third most minutes in the team, coming behind Roberto Firmino and Andrew Robertson with 1485 and 1620 minutes respectably. 

Liverpool's number five has scored only one goal in the league this season but it is his team play which makes him a valuable assest to the squad. He bosses a 91.73% pass completion attempting 846 passes, showing his importance to the team.

But with his brilliance comes concern as Wijnaldum's days at Anfield look to be limited with his contract soon to expire. 

The current situation

Wijnaldum's contract expires June 30 and with time running out, it is looking less likely he will extend his stay with Liverpool. The Reds sit fourth in the table after their 0-0 draw with Manchester United and have failed to score in their last three matches, something they have not managed since 2005. 

According to journalist Fabrizio Romano via his 'Here We Go' podcast Wijnaldum is still undecided about signing a new contract with Liverpool, after he was left unhappy with the wages offered to him back in December. However, he has not yet started talking to any other clubs. 

Despite this, the Mirror have reported that Wijnaldum has already made his mind up and by declining Liverpool's latest offer he will fulfil his boyhood dream of joining Barcelona in the summer. 

This move would see him reunite with former Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman who is a huge admirer of the midfielder. Wijnaldum excelled under Koeman scoring 10 goals and assisting three in 17 matches for his home nation.

Barcelona also lost a lot of pivotal players in midfield last summer with big names such as Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Raphina and Arthur all leaving. This opens up a place in midfield for Wijnaldum to fill.

Liverpool's future

If Wijnaldum were to leave in the summer Liverpool are still left with a vast array of options to replace the 30-year-old. 

According to Romano, Liverpool have been looking at Brighton's Yves Bissouma as well as Lille's Renato Sanches who have both been impressive this season. 

Another option would be Riqui Puig from Barcelona. The 21-year-old has only played 147 minutes for the Catalan giants this season and looks to be out of favour with Koeman. With Wijnaldum going one way Puig chances of starting will be even less likely so, a swap to Liverpool looks like a good option for both parties. Puig is younger than Wijnaldum and looks to be a very talented and skilful Spaniard.  

Finally, the last option Liverpool may consider is recruiting no one. The Reds already have a great deal of competitive midfielders. Xherdan Shaqiri is once again showing his talent with great performances against Southampton and Man United. Thiago Alcantara looks to be the Philippe Coutinho replacement Liverpool have been waiting for for years. Curtis Jones is growing into his role in the senior squad phenomenally well and with the likes of Naby Keita coming back from injury and Fabinho's imminent return once Van Dijk and Gomez are fit, the midfield looks to have plenty of high quality players even without Wijnaldum. 

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