Paris Saint-Germain stole Georginio Wijnaldum from under the nose of Barcelona to make him the first signing of the season for the French club. The Dutch midfielder was poised to join Blaugrana, but a last-minute approach made by the Parisiens changed his decision.
Wijnaldum joins PSG after five successful seasons at Liverpool. The 30-year-old was one of Jurgen Klopp’s key players and played a crucial part in helping them win a Champions League title and the Premier League. Despite Klopp wanting to keep the Dutch midfielder, Liverpool failed to convince Wijanaldum to extend his stay.
The arrival of Wijnaldum provides a whole new dynamic to the Paris Saint-Germain midfield.
Georginio Wijnaldum Will Improve Paris Saint-Germain Midfield
A Better Attacking Output
For years, PSG have lacked a goalscoring midfielder. A glance into the last decade reveals that only Javier Pastore and Julian Draxler have scored ten or more goals from the centre of the park for the Parisiens. While there have been many stellar names who have arrived in Paris, none have been capable of providing them with goals from the middle of the park.
Wijnaldum, on the other hand, has the capability of producing goods. Before he arrived at Anfield in 2016, the Dutch international was prolific. Wijnaldum finished as Newcastle United’s top scorer in his first season in the Premier League. Before that, the Dutch midfielder had 56 goals in 154 appearances across four seasons for PSV Eindhoven.
It’s natural to doubt the midfielder’s goalscoring prowess after taking a glance at his Liverpool stats. But at Liverpool, Klopp needed the midfielder’s dynamism more than his goals. He had to curtail some of his offensive instincts to adjust to the demands of the manager. But for the national side, Wijanldum played more like his pre-Liverpool days. The recently concluded Euro 2020 witnessed more of the offensive side of the box-to-box midfielder.
Wijnaldum is a player who is capable of scoring goals when his team is in dire straits. His perfectly timed late runs and his ability to take up dangerous attacking positions made him an offensive threat. The Dutch midfielder’s goalscoring prowess was on full display during Liverpool’s miraculous comeback against Barcelona in the semi-finals of the 2019/20 Champions League.
Georginio Wijnaldum Provides a Better Balance
One of PSG’s major problems over the last couple of years have been their imbalanced midfield. While Marco Veratti has been a mainstay, the players around him have not always played at par with the standard of the Italian. Following the departure of Javier Pastore and the drop in form of Julian Draxler, the PSG midfield has rarely had an attacking threat.
The last couple of seasons have seen the Parisiens change into a three-man midfield, but in order to execute the formation properly, they needed to add the right players. They have so far failed to make the right additions. PSG did address the issues on the defensive side of midfield following the departure of Blaise Matuidi, but they have failed to add that third box-to-box midfielder.
The ultra attacking front three of PSG demands a dynamic midfield for them. They tried to adjust it by adding three defensive-minded midfielders – Ander Herrera, Idrissa Gana Gueye and Danilo Pereira – but the move has more often than not failed against better opponents.
Wijnaldum appears to be the perfect answer to this problem. The 30-year-old is a tireless, hardworking midfielder. He is an intelligent player who is always well-aware of what his manager expects from him. As previously stated, the Dutchman’s attacking threat could help PSG. Having played under a similarly potent front three, Wijnaldum also possesses the know-how on how to take up positions when the front three are on the attack. His unparalleled work rate allows him to switch between attack and defence quite easily.
Fitness has been another issue at the Parc des Princes. PSG have long suffered with injuries, with their architect-in-chief Veratti spending almost a quarter of his season on the treatment table. The absence of Veratti has always resulted in a lack of attacking threat for the club. Raphina, his backup, has rarely seen fit and ready.
Wijnaldum, on the other hand, rarely misses matches due to injuries. Apart from his third season at PSV, the Dutch midfielder has played 40 or more games in each of the last ten seasons. His technical prowess and his versatility helps him to play in a three-man midfield as a double pivot and even as a lone number six. This would allow PSG to provide adequate rest for Veratti while also tapping into the repertoire of the versatile Wijnaldum.
PSG have long been the top dog in French football. Apart from two seasons since the Qatari takeover, the Parisiens have comfortably secured the league title. It has been Champions League glory that they have desired, but they have always faltered at the final hurdle.
The big game players always produce on the biggest stages. Wijnaldum, for one, is such a player. It was after his introduction that Liverpool started their miraculous comeback over Barcelona. It was with him that the Reds ended their decades-long wait for the Premier League title. A Champions League and Premier League winner, it’s safe to say Georginio Wijnaldum has more than the necessary mentality to help Paris Saint-Germain over the final hurdle.