With every Liverpool player now back for pre-season following a summer of international tournaments and staggered holidays, Jürgen Klopp had the chance to run out a strong attacking side against AC Milan in their friendly last night. He also had the chance, along with Liverpool fans around the world, to watch Georginio Wijnaldum take his first touches in a match for the club.
Many Liverpool fans, though, might have missed it given the pre-season friendly against Milan kicked off at 3AM in Liverpool. And so it only seems right that we take the chance today to give them a chance to catch on Wijnaldum’s composed debut, where the player focused on safe play first as he settled in at his new club but did still show some flashes of the creative, driving play that made him a transfer target.
Wijnaldum put in a solid half of football on his debut, and with Adam Lallana often pushing high in Liverpool’s 4-3-3, at times it looked like he was the more roving member of a double-pivot, dropping deep alongside Jordan Henderson to build play. It was an encouraging showing, if one that erred on the side of caution—more smart passes than cutting ones, and being sure he was always on hand to cover when needed.
There were moments, though. Moments like when he set up Daniel Sturridge for two chances that, had the striker been a little sharper, could have—and perhaps should have—resulted in two goals. And so, without any further ado, Georginio Wijnaldum…