Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum has been key to the club’s recent run of success, a trusted and versatile part of Jürgen Klopp’s Champions League defending, Premier League leading side. This week, though, questions have surfaced about his future.
That’s because as of this summer, the 29-year-old will have just one season to run on his current deal. And that means that the club have left a new deal for Wijnaldum, if a new deal is in fact on the cards, rather late compared to how they normally operate.
The resulting concerns and questions are, perhaps, natural—does Wijnaldum have a role beyond the current season, or does perhaps he or the club for some reason want to see him move on? According to a club connected journalist, the answers are yes and no.
Yes he is expected to have a role at Liverpool beyond the 2019-20 season and no, neither he nor the club are angling for a departure this summer. That at least according to The Mirror’s David Maddock, who recently discussed Wijnaldum’s situation with RedmenTV.
Maddock suggests that a new contract is being discussed, but that the difficulty is going to be agreeing a suitable term for Wijnaldum given his age, with the player likely to want maximum term and the club likely wanting to shift him towards shorter deals.
With Wijnaldum set to turn 30 in the autumn, a new five year contract at this stage would take him through the seasons until he’s 35, meaning a lucrative long-term deal could make it hard to shift him should his role at the club eventually come into question.
Which isn’t to say Wijnaldum couldn’t still be at the club at 35—one only has to look at James Milner for an example of a club keeping a high-performing veteran around. It’s more that a long contract potentially limits flexibility for the club moving forward.
According to the club-connected journalist, the issue at hand will be that Liverpool are currently “talking to him about length, not money” and that once the two sides come to an agreement on that, Wijnaldum’s deal will be extended beyond 2021.