Chelsea are one of the host of elite clubs interested in signing Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer in the summer.
Georginio Wijnaldum, 30, joined Liverpool from Newcastle United in 2016 and has been an important player ever since, making at least 40 appearances across all competitions every year including the ongoing campaign. The Dutchman has been the most consistent performer in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Reds, scoring twice in 29 league appearances thus far.
Liverpool still want to keep the 30-year-old midfielder and the offer of a new contract remains on the table. However, Wijnaldum could leave Anfield as a free agent after five years at the club for a fresh challenge, with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus all keen on securing his signature.
Georginio Wijnaldum has been key to Liverpool’s success under Jurgen Klopp
Georginio Wijnaldum has been an integral member of this Liverpool side under Jurgen Klopp since arriving from Newcastle United, who were relegated from the top-flight at the end of 2015/16 campaign. He has clocked 226 appearances for the Merseysiders across all competitions, registering 22 goals and 16 assists in the process.
The Netherlands international has enjoyed a trophy-laden five years with the Reds, winning the Champions League, the Premier League, UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup in that period. In Liverpool’s 2018/19 Champions League success, the midfielder notably changed the course of the game after coming on as a substitute in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona. He scored twice in two minutes to draw Barcelona 3–3 on aggregate before Divock Origi’s second goal of the night at Anfield sent Klopp’s side to the final.
Wijnaldum was a mainstay in Klopp’s starting XI last season, making 37 appearances in the top-flight as Liverpool won their first league title in 30 years.
Should Chelsea sign Wijnaldum?
Thomas Tuchel, since replacing Frank Lampard at the end of January, has shored up Chelsea’s leaky defence that has, in turn, contributed enormously to their unbeaten run under the new manager. Chelsea currently are fourth in the table with 51 points from 29 games, six points behind second-place Manchester United.
Tuchel, 47, will look to use his first full transfer window to shape his Chelsea squad and challenge for the Premier League title next season. With Olivier Giroud at the wrong end of 30 and summer signing Timo Werner misfiring, the Blues could bring in a new striker to lead the attack next season. However, does Tuchel needs another central midfielder in his ranks?
In N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Billy Gilmour, Tuchel has a lot of options to choose from in midfield. But with neither Kante nor Jorginho getting any younger, and Gilmour potentially heading out for loan next season to get regular opportunities, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Chelsea decides to sign a central midfielder in the summer.
However, the Pensioners must avoid signing Wijnaldum even if he’ll be available on a free transfer. Wijnaldum has performed admirably well for Liverpool over the years and is one of the fittest players in Klopp’s squad. In addition to his rich success at Anfield, he has a proven pedigree on the international stage, having earned 73 caps for the Netherlands.
The Dutchman, nonetheless, will turn 31 in November, so he won’t be a great long-term option for Tuchel, who must focus on signing a young central midfielder considering he already has ageing stars such as Kante and Jorginho in his squad. Thus, Wijnaldum may be a proven Premier League commodity with a winning mentality but he isn’t the best option for Chelsea.