20 Jul 2016

Deal Close: Liverpool agree transfer fee for 'magic' £27m attacker who wants Anfield move

Liverpool are currently linked with a move for 'magic' Newcastle attacker Georginio Wijnaldum, and new reports suggest that the Dutch international is desperate for a move to Anfield.

According to The Telegraph today:

"Liverpool and Newcastle have reached an agreement regarding the fee for Georginio Wijnaldum".

De Telegraaf further claims:

"His [Wijnaldum's] heart is set on a move to Liverpool, where coach Jürgen Klopp has admired him for a long time".

Wijnaldum cost £14.5m a year ago, and if the Reds pay the £27m fee demanded by Newcastle, it'll represent an 86% rise in just one year. Is he worth such a massive fee increase? In my view, the answer is emphatically and categorically NO, and the Dutchman's stats for Newcastle last season starkly illustrate the ridiculousness of Wijnaldum's inflated price:

* 11 goals/5 assists in 40 apps (Goal every 304 mins. Assist every 669 mins. G/A every 209 mins)

* Outside the Premier League's top 35 for assists.

* Outside the Prem's top 50 for chance-creation.

* Outside the Prem's top 130 for successful crosses.

* Outside the Prem's top 45 for successful dribbles.

* Outside the Prem's top 48 for passing accuracy.

* Outside the Prem's top 65 for shots per game.

* Outside the Prem's top 180 for aerial duels won.

* Outside the the Prem's top 190 for tackles won.

* Outside the the Prem's top 185 for interceptions.

So: Why exactly is Wijnaldum worth an extra 86% in transfer fees?

* His goals/assists stats are average, even for a relegated team.

* Offensively, he barely creates any chances (one per game is pitiful, which probably explains the low assist rate).

* Defensively, Wijnaldum doesn't appear to offer much in the way of tackles, interceptions, and aerial duels (all part and parcel of what Klopp expects from an attacking midfielder).

Even Adam Lallana achieves better stats that this, as do practically all of Liverpool's attacking midfielders. Overall, Wijnaldum is no upgrade on Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, or Firmino, so what's the point in splurging another £25m+?


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