Having agreed a fee with Newcastle early this morning, Liverpool have moved quickly to complete the signing of 25-year-old Dutch international Georginio Wijnaldum. According to multiple reports, following successful negotiations with his club, the player has agreed a five-year deal with Liverpool.
Wijnaldum is expected to undergo a medical on Friday, after which he will immediately fly out to join his new teammates in California as Liverpool prepare for their pre-season tour of the United States. Further, according to the Liverpool Echo, the final deal with Newcastle is for £23M up front plus a further £2M in add-ons.
The versatile midfielder joined Newcastle from PSV in 2015 for £14.5M and was a bright spot for struggling Newcastle. His eleven goals in the Premier League stood him 13th top scorer in the league, level with fellow new Liverpool signing Sadio Mané. Amongst non-strikers only Riyad Mahrez and Alexis Sanchez scored more.
However, whether he plays a similar attacking role at Liverpool to the one he took on at Newcastle, is an open question, and for Netherlands he has often set up deeper as a central midfield playmaker. Wijnaldum’s positional flexibility could be key given Liverpool seem to already be overstocked with attacking midfield options.
Wherever he plays, though, that he recorded a goal or assist every 198 minutes in the league in his first year in English football for a struggling side should augur well for his chances of making an impact at Anfield, and it’s not much of a step down from the goal or assist every 160 minutes he previous managed in the Eredivisie.