Farewell, sweet prince.
Gini Wijnaldum has left Liverpool and he’s not coming back. Please try to hold back the tears.
It seemed inevitable for a long time that he’d end up at Barcelona. Manager Ronald Koeman clearly rated Wijnaldum from their time together at the Netherlands. But now it seems that’s not to be.
The very reliable Fabrizio Romano reports that Paris Saint-Germain seem to have gazumped Barcelona. The contract offer is significantly higher than that offered by Barca, while Mauricio Pochettino personally intervened to convince Wijnaldum to head to France.
This does make quite a bit of sense. Pochettino obviously faced Wijnaldum many times during his spell as Tottenham manager. In his attempts to rebuild the PSG side and create a more cohesive team rather than relying on individuals, Wijnaldum is exactly the kind of player who would make sense on and off the pitch.
And honestly, he’d be going into a better situation than Barcelona. Koeman will be in charge there for another season, then the next manager will surely place a strong emphasis on academy players in the midfield. It’s hard to see good things happening at Barcelona in the long term.
For Liverpool, this doesn’t mean a great deal. Wijnaldum was going anyway, and it doesn’t seem as though the club are in a great rush to bring in a replacement.
He’ll be missed.