15 Feb 2017

Aldo Insists: 'Fantastic' £53m international is better than 'Emre Can'; it's 'no contest'. Agree?

Emre Can vs Giorgino Wijnaldum: Who is the better player for Jurgen Klopp's preferred 433 formation?

According to Reds legend John Aldridge, there's only one winner. In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Aldo hailed Wijnaldum's 'fantastic' performance against Spurs, and insisted:

"There's one place up for grabs in Liverpool's midfield, and it's between Wijnaldum and Emre Can. It's up to Wijnaldum to deliver on a regular basis, and if he does then there's no contest."

This is a no-brainer. I'm not the biggest fan of Wijnaldum as a central midfielder, but he's an infinitely better option than Emre Can, who is too slow in possession, and (arguably) lacks the game intelligence to 'see' the game unfolding, which is a trademark of many top central midfielders.

Wijnaldum played well against Spurs, but as Aldo suggests, his consistency can be an issue, and Liverpool can do better than the Dutchman in central midfield. One good game doesn't make a season, and although Wijnaldum has played well in other games, he also went missing during Liverpool's recent poor run of form.

Plus, 3 goals in 29 games is just not good enough for a central midfielder with attacking responsibilities. Klopp even (tacitly) confirmed this in a recent interview, and urged Wijnaldum to 'improve' his 'finishing':

"He [Wijnaldum] needs to be around the interesting situations when balls come down. Especially [against Chelsea] in the first half he wasn’t in the box one time, which makes no sense from his position. He can improve in this".

Right now, Wijnaldum is a better option than the equally goal-shy Emre Can, but Liverpool should try and upgrade both for next season. In my view, Liverpool should sell Can to the highest bidder; sign two top class central midfielders (a DM and a creative playmaker capable of scoring/assisting regularly), with Wijnaldum becoming a squad player.

* Wijnaldum: €53m-rated (CIES Football Observatory)

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