James Pearce of The Athletic has been discussing Georginio Wijnaldum’s contract situation at Liverpool during a recent episode of podcast The Red Agenda.
The Dutchman started in the centre of midfield for Jurgen Klopp’s side during their recent victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of a reduced Anfield crowd (as per BBC Sport).
According to WhoScored, the player’s performance rating on the night was an impressive 7.97/10, serving as a reminder that despite the fact his current Liverpool deal is due to expire at the end of the season, he can still be a very influential player.
Pearce shared his thoughts on Wijnaldum’s future, suggesting the club should be trying to keep hold of the 30-year-old. Here is what he had to say:
“He’s such a good fit for this Klopp team and the relationship is clearly so strong between him and the manager. I know it’s not an easy situation because he is going to be going on 31 by the end of his current contract and Liverpool don’t dish out long, lucrative extensions to players who are past 30.
“I just think he’s such a special player that sometimes there have to be exceptions to the rule, just like there was when Liverpool went and wrapped up that deal for Thiago.”
Would you like to see Wijnaldum stay beyond the end of this season?
TIF Thoughts on James Pearce’s comments regarding Wijnaldum’s future…
It’s clear that in the journalist’s view, Wijnaldum has earned the right to be offered a longer, better-paid contract than what the club might usually hand out to players of his age.
Since arriving from Newcastle United back in 2016 for £24.75m (as per Transfermarkt), the 30-year-old has made 204 appearances for the Reds, contributing 20 goals and 16 assists. During his time on Merseyside, Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a league title and tasted UEFA Champions League glory in the 2018/19 season.
In the summer, Jurgen Klopp’s side paid £19.8m to sign Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich and Pearce believes that the club saw the Spaniard as an exception to the rule and that the same stance should be taken with the former PSV Eindhoven man – given the feats he has helped achieve during his Anfield career, we tend to agree.