Georginio Wijnaldum: Our Midfield Metronome

Now, it would be unfair to suggest any one player is responsible for making the team tick. At our free flowing and frightening best, it is because each member of the team works fluently. As a little pre-warning, my observations are backed up by statistics, so if crunching the numbers isn’t for you, look away now.

 

Wijnaldum has gone about his business quietly so far this season, bringing balance to an attacking midfield. Unsurprisingly, Gini doesn’t grab himself too many headlines, much like the under-appreciation Henderson has faced in recent years.

When compared with his colleagues in central midfield, Gini does not stand out from the crowd. But that is his role, thats what he’s there to do, in our heavy metal play style, he is a calming influence. Per game, the Dutchman provides the least: key passes, chances created and tackles won. Does this matter? Not at all. Well, of course it could be improved, but we rely on Lallana and the boys up top to create the chances and we have Jord at #6 to break up the play.

With the highest pass accuracy (88%), Gini has also lost the least tackles (1.74) and suffered the most fouls (1.10) of our midfield quartet. He simply holds on to the ball and does not let go, he plays it safe and simple.

Emre Can is a sensationally good looking man. However, his football isn’t looking quite so pretty at the minute. When played over Wijnaldum we lose our metronome, we lose that safe option. Can looses the ball far too often because he takes risks, far too often he is looking to beat a man or play that final pass. Can completes nearly twice as many take ons (0.89) as Wijnaldum (0.45) but has a much lower success rate (50% compared to Wijnaldum’s 82%).

Quiet, safe Gini has still chipped in with three goals and four assists, including the winner against City and the equaliser at Stamford Bridge in recent weeks. Some scoffed at the £25million we shelled out in the Summer, but you could say that about the £32m we threw at Mané too? Maybe after all this, Klopp really does know what he’s doing in the transfer market after all. You’d never have guessed.

Apologies for the dig at all ye unfaithful, but the manager knows what he’s doing, so just get excited for whats to come.

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