From An Attacker To A Midfield General: Liverpool’s Very Own Yaya Toure

When Liverpool signed Georginio Wijnaldum for a sum of £25 million from the relegated Newcastle United last summer, doubts were raised about the Dutchman’s consistency and utility. His torrid away form for the Magpies raised doubts over the Reds decision of splurging a large amount on the attacker. Wijnaldum had a relatively slow start to his Liverpool career but has now gone on to become one of Jurgen Klopp’s most trusted man in his midfield cauldron.

Wijnaldum had played in midfield before but was predominantly used on the flanks or as a number 10 in his previous clubs. But Klopp decided to use the Rotterdam-born player in a three-man midfield. Wijnaldum has flourished in his new role this season and is undoubtedly his team’s most underrated player. His work often goes unnoticed because of the attackers in the team but he is as useful to this team as, let’s say, Philippe Coutinho.

His defensive work often goes beneath the carpet as one has to look closely to understand the impact Wijnaldum has on this Liverpool side. His team ethic is brilliant along with his work rate and is one of the most consistent runners in the team. He is tactically astute and has the required calmness of performing in the midfield area. Slowly but surely, Gini – as he’s lovingly called by the supporters, has gone on to become the midfield general of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

Wijnaldum has gone on to make his reputation as a big match player for the Reds with his goals against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City helping Liverpool to stay unbeaten against the top six sides. His contribution in the big matches can be compared to Manchester City’s Yaya Toure who in previous seasons, helped City to win the big games with his influence from the middle of the park.

Toure has failed to perform well this season under Pep Guardiola but has been one of City’s best players in their rise under the Middle East owners. He has scored in the FA Cup and League Cup final for the Citizens while also scoring in numerous crucial league games. Toure guaranteed goals for his team and the same can be said for Wijnaldum. This is the first season where the Dutchman will have 10 goals or less in a season which just goes on to show his goalscoring abilities along with his know-how of dictating the tempo of the game. It is this quality of the two mentioned midfielders which sets them apart from the rest.

Toure was a crucial cog in Manchester City’s wheels in their trophy-laden years and Wijnaldum will hope to be just the kind of inspiration that the Ivorian was to his side in the recent past. He has a better defensive sense to his game which Toure lacked and the 26-year old can become one of the best signings for the Reds under the stewardship of Jurgen Klopp.

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