Last night’s final pre-season friendly saw Torino come to town. The reds shown glimpses of their rampant best attacking play in a 3-1 win that could easily have been a more emphatic margin.
One of the most eye catching displays was Gini Wijnaldum’s marauding performance as he galavanted foward at will and with apparent ease. The Dutch international grabbed a well taken goal and proved to be an excellent conduit between defence and attack on the night.
Obviously there will be a lot of excitement around Curtis Jones and his superb second half display. However in Wijnaldum we have a player who could really make a difference for this season if he is finally unshackled from his water carrier role.
Gini is an excellent footballer. He’s more than capable of the one and two touch game which has become so key to a speedy getaway on the counter. His naturally quick feet and decent burst of pace make him a real attacking option. He could do some real damage linking up with the front three from deeper positions.
At times he’s had The Kop purring with outrageous skill and audacious play. His performances at home v Arsenal and in the Champions League semi final second leg v Roma show just what a top class act he can be for Liverpool.
More out of necessity than a slurr on his natural ability, Wijnaldum has often been played along side Henderson as a second number six.
Sitting deep and doing the hard yards has perhaps put a handbrake on Gini’s attacking potential. However he has still excelled in his role whenever he’s been called on.
It was a blessing to be able to call on the services of such a quality player at the business end of the season as an injury crisis engulfed the club. However, if he can be permitted leave of this role for now, and play with more freedom to roam and create, then we will likely see a completely different and exciting contribution from him this season.
You don’t win the league with your first XI. It’s the strength of your squad that wins it. Having a player available like Wijnaldum and him not be a stitch on starter every week is truly a sign of far we have come under Jurgen Klopp. We should all be glad those crazy rumours of Wijnaldum’s departure to the Super Lig have finally passed.