The phrase, ‘The grass isn’t alway greener’, tends to be thrown around a lot these days, as player after player learn the hard way that a departure isn’t always the best option. It’s perhaps the biggest regret a player can have, making the wrong move; it can completely derail a career, damage work and home life, and leave a player’s love for the game as non-existent as their place in their new squad. And, so far, that’s what’s happened to Georginio Wijnaldum at PSG.
Mr Reliable at Liverpool, Wijnaldum has been anything but at PSG, with the term ‘system player’ frighteningly hovering above his name. As each underwhelming performance arrives, the question is asked once more: Did Liverpool need Wijnaldum? Or did Wijnaldum need Liverpool? A couple months into the season, and it seems a mix of both.
Georginio Wijnaldum PSG Move: A Transfer Filled With Instant Regret
Wijnaldum Admits Unhappiness
We’re not playing a guessing game in regards to how Wijnaldum feels at PSG. The midfielder admitted, himself, that things have far from gone to plan so far, telling NOS Sport: “To be honest, I can’t say I’m completely happy [at Paris Saint-Germain] because the situation is not what I wanted. Sometimes if you don’t play it’s worrying.”
The Dutchman’s lack of game time – he has started six out of 11 games – comes a slight surprise. Many expected Wijnaldum to act as the glue to hold the plethora of stars included in the PSG team together. Whilst Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar took the headlines, Wijnaldum was expected to do the job that he did at Liverpool: Clean up in the background, do the dirty work, and maybe even pop up with an important goal from time-to-time.
One man that didn’t have that role in mind, initially anyway, was Mauricio Pochettino. The former Tottenham Hotspur manager attempted to add the ‘Dutch’ Wijnaldum to his side; the goalscoring, more advanced version of the midfielder, just in case a front free of Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe couldn’t get the job done. And that’s where Pochettino has gone wrong.
Wijnaldum Will Thrive in Less Exciting, but More Effective Role
Every midfielder wants to play in the advanced role, before realising that they are simply not capable of finding the back of the net, and far better at those clattering challenges, or neat, but effective passes. The difference with Wijnaldum is that he is capable of both roles. And that’ll frustrate PSG, who attempted to use him in an advanced position, before witnessing failure, realising that this is no longer a young Dutchman scoring four goals in one game at St. James’ Park.
Instead of searching for what would be needless goals from midfield sources, considering their potent front three, PSG must use Wijnaldum in his ‘Liverpool role’. Have him sit deep next to a Marco Verratti, or Idrissa Gueye; let him do the dirty work, so that the rest of the system can perform to its maximum ability. There is still time for Mauricio Pochettino to discover the magical lamp, give it a rub, and wait for a world class Gini Wijnaldum to pop out. The Dutchman just needs to settle into a familiar role.
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