Liverpool or Barcelona: Where's best for Georginio WIjnaldum?

It's looking set to be a defining summer for Georginio Wijnaldum.

Jurgen Klopp's favourite son is out of contract at the end of the season and despite being one of the most important players to Liverpool's system and virtually never missing a game, the two parties are at odds over the terms of a new deal.

That has opened the door to Barcelona and Ronald Koeman is primed to take advantage, give the Dutchman the contract of his dreams, and bring his countryman to La Liga.

It leaves Wijnaldum with a decision to make: does he compromise to stay at Anfield, or does he put a line under the Liverpool chapter of his career and move on?

Either way, someone is going to be very disappointed.

Style of play

Wijnaldum is one of the most dexterous midfielders in the Premier League. He doesn't create much directly, but other than that he covers every facet of midfield play and does it as well as just about anyone in the world.

His ball retention ability is the big selling point for Barcelona. They got a first-hand look at that in the Champions League a couple of seasons ago when he scored twice in a semi final second leg after coming on as a half-time sub, and while Koeman wasn't around to witness that astonishing performance, he knows fine well what he can do from their time together on the international stage.

In five years at Anfield, Wijnaldum has been moulded into the perfect midfielder for Liverpool - he's basically custom-made for Jurgen Klopp's 4-3-3.

He might take a little bit of adapting to Koeman's flexible set-up, and there is no obvious place for him in a fluid system that flits between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3. But he's nothing if not adaptable and shouldn't take too long to hit the ground running if he decides his future lies in Catalonia - especially under a manager who would build the side around his strengths.


Bit of an obvious answer here. Liverpool are financially stringent and won't break from their carefully crafted structure, even if it means occasionally missing out on a key target or losing one of their top players.

Barcelona are a lot more carefree with their finances, and it's for that reason that they see no real risk in offering a long-term contract worth £250,000 per week to a player who will be 30 by the time he kicks a ball for them. It's also for that reason that Barça are still paying Liverpool money for Philippe Coutinho, but that's a conversation for another day.

In any case, Wijnaldum stands to make a lot more money in Catalonia than if he stayed put at Liverpool. Considering it could very well be his final big contract, you can hardly blame him for turning his head.


Wijnaldum loves it at Liverpool. He's made that abundantly clear. He's working under a manager who loves him, with team-mates who basically idolise him, in a setting where he has won almost everything there is to win and made himself a hero to the fans.

We all fancy a change of scenery now and again, though, and there can be no denying Barcelona has its appeal. As long as Koeman is in place, Wijnaldum would be held in a similar standing in Catalonia, and with Frenkie de Jong set to be joined with Memphis Depay (or so the rumours go) there would be a degree of familiarity there.

Wijnaldum and De Jong would be united at Barça | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Throw in the Spanish weather, Camp Nou, and the club's scenic training's not a bad option to have on the table, is it?

Chances of silverware

While Barcelona could still win La Liga this season, they are still some way from Europe's their Champions League humbling at the hands of PSG showed.

The same could be said of Liverpool if you flip the script somewhat. They stand no chance of winning the league - they'll be mathematically ruled out the next time Man City win a game - but could still be crowned champions of Europe.

But neither club are in brilliant shape, and it's difficult to predict who will come out stronger for the next few years.

It could actually depend on where Wijnaldum goes.

What does he actually want?

We don't know what Wijnaldum has decided, and we likely won't for a while yet. As Barça wait on one or two sales before formally tabling a pre-contract offer, 90min learned over the weekend that Klopp has urged the Liverpool board to make one last push to keep him tied down long-term. Other than that, it's down to him.

Wijnaldum said previously he would be 'devastated' if he had to leave Anfield, but he wants a salary he feels reflects his senior role within the side, and is prepared to walk out if he doesn't get it.

It would be a sad end, then, if a few million quid in annual salary spelled the end of a six-year association that has seen Wijnaldum average a trophy for every 50 appearances he's made. In these times, though, keeping the ship tight is more important than ever, and Liverpool can't afford to make any exceptions...even for a player as priceless as WIjnaldum.

But these things happen in football, and while it may be a hot take to some of the more hot-headed Liverpool fans on the internet (#FSGOUT #KLOPPOUT!!!!), it's actually no-one's fault if he does choose to walk out.

Source : 90min