Once you have painstakingly-built the best football team in the world, it would it would make sense to make sure you did everything in your power to keep the band together. Jürgen Klopp and FSG have sought to do just that, locking up each one of first team regulars in the squad to long term contracts. All of them except for one: Gini Wijnaldum.
As one of his manager’s most trusted players—with most big games finding the Dutchman on the team sheet—Wijnaldum has more than earned Klopp’s trust since arriving at the club in the summer of 2016.
All which means fact that the squad mainstay and owner of the world’s greatest smile is in the final year and a half of his contract with the club would come as a surprise to most Reds supporters.
Work has begun to rectify the situation, with both parties in negotiations to extend the 29-year-old past 2021. A happy ending is not a foregone conclusion and the midfielder himself has refrained from getting too far ahead of discussions:
”What would I like? It is difficult to say,” he told Sky Sports News recently. “It depends on what the club wants and how the situation is at that time. We will see. [Anfield], it’s like home.
”I’m just focusing on bringing this season to a good end and that’s the only thing I’m thinking of.”
Though a loyal servant and trusted lieutenant, Wijanldum will be aware that competition for places in Liverpool’s world-beating midfield will only grow as the club continue their relentless drive to improve each season.