Last summer was a very busy one for Paris Saint-Germain. After bringing in a number of top players, many declared their business as ‘the greatest ever transfer window’.
Obviously, Lionel Messi was the main event. Meanwhile, the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Sergio Ramos on free transfers attracted plenty of headlines, and full-back duo Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes were also exciting purchases.
In amongst all those red-carpet signings, Georginio Wijnaldum was almost forgotten about. Nonetheless, people saw the recruitment of the Dutchman on a free transfer as a shrewd piece of business.
But the move has been a disaster for the midfielder. Now, his time in Paris looks close to ending, having been left out of the club’s latest squad for their tour of Japan.
Despite his struggles, he may still have a lot left to offer. During his best days, he was energetic, tidy on the ball, a hard worker, and was capable of scoring goals. There should be some interest in him if he was to become available.
Here are four Premier League sides that could be interested in the 31-year-old.
Wijnaldum’s first taste of English football came on Tyneside. He played one season for Newcastle United back in 2015/16, scoring 11 goals. However, this wasn’t enough to keep them from relegation.
Six years on from his departure, and a lot has changed for both parties. The player has won two league titles and a Champions League, while the Magpies were taken over by the mega-rich Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. The new owners appear to be very ambitious, and are willing to open their wallets to take the club into Europe.
Should he be able to recapture his best form, Wijnaldum could be a very useful player for Eddie Howe’s men. Alongside January signing Bruno Guimaraes, he could form a dependable midfield partnership.
West Ham United
West Ham have enjoyed the last two campaigns, qualifying for Europe in each of them. If they wish to maintain this, however, new recruits will be necessary.
Central midfield is probably the biggest strength in their starting XI. Declan Rice is one of the Premier League’s most sought-after midfielders, while Tomas Soucek is also one of their club’s standouts. However, the departures of Mark Noble and Alex Kral have left them short of adequate back-up.
Would Wijnaldum want to move to the London Stadium to act as cover for Rice and Soucek? Probably not. But this isn’t the only role he could be useful for.
The Netherlands international has plenty of experience playing as an attacking midfielder. Should the Hammers’ pursuit of Jesse Lingard fail, he could be a fine alternative.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are in a similar position to West Ham. Their midfield duo of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho is possibly the strongest part of their line-up, but there is a lack of alternatives.
Wolves have been linked with a move for the former Liverpool man. Should he make the switch to Molineux, he would likely be a starter.
Given his history with Liverpool, this may seem like a ridiculous shout. But could Wijnaldum possibly go to Man Utd this summer?
Firstly, a lot of their summer business has centred around the Netherlands. Dutch left-back Tyrell Malacia was brought in, along with Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez and former Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen. Meanwhile, a deal for Frenkie de Jong is still in the works.
Wijnaldum played in the Eredivisie for eight years before joining Newcastle, and has earned 86 caps for the Netherlands national team.
Of course, having a Dutch passport doesn’t guarantee a move to Old Trafford, but there is more to it than that. The Red Devils are in desperate need of central midfielders, given that their only senior options are Scott McTominay and Fred. A box-to-box type should be near the top of their wish list.
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