There are a number of reasons why a move for Gini Wijnaldum was not going to be realistic. Firstly, his wages are reportedly well above our highest earner Jonjo Shelvey. Secondly, Liverpool would demand a higher transfer fee than the £25million they paid us two years ago. Finally, the Shields Gazette report he is still an important first-team player at Anfield and the Reds would be reluctant to sell.
With all that being said though, the idea of bringing in a player like the Dutchman is a sound one. The club’s focus is very much on bringing in a forward at the moment, and that certainly should be a priority considering Ayoze Perez was our top scorer with 10 last season.
However, our goalscoring record from midfield was even worse. Matt Ritchie scored three goals while Shelvey, Mo Diame, Christian Atsu and Kenedy scored just two each last campaign. In his one season with us, Wijnaldum scored 11 goals, the same as those five players combined last season.
Although I’m not expecting us to find another number 10 who can score double figures every season, considering our limited transfer budget, I do believe that an attacking midfielder who can create and score goals is a vital recruit during this transfer window.
You could say Perez is that man, but for me, he is a striker rather than a goalscoring midfielder. We need to improve on the 39 goals in 38 games we managed in the league, and that means we have to find more goals from other areas of the pitch.
Hopefully, Rafa and his staff are working hard on this. It’s been a challenging summer, to say the least, and despite the financial restrictions that we are clearly working under, it would be great if we could recruit a player similar to Wijnaldum who can give us an extra attacking threat from midfield. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.