Having left Newcastle in the summer of 2016, it’s fair to say Georginio Wijnaldum has enjoyed a successful career at Liverpool.
The Netherlands international completed a £25m move to Anfield, signing a five-year contract with the Reds. And under Jurgen Klopp’s guidance, Wijnaldum has been one of the players to benefit the most, with the Merseyside club showing their dominance both on the domestic and European stages.
The 29-year-old first arrived on English shores following a move from PSV a year earlier, with then Newcastle boss Steve McClaren waxing lyrical about the midfielder’s signing. He said: “The signing is a real statement for the club. It is a big transfer for a very good player and I am delighted to have Gini here. He is the right age and the right fit for Newcastle.”
And in his time on Tyneside, the Dutchman showed what a quality player he is, bringing a real goal-scorer’s instinct for someone who played in central midfield.
In just the 40 games that he ended up playing for the club, he scored 11 times and provided a further five assists too as he tried his utmost to stop them from getting relegated. Magpies fans will no doubt have very fond memories of how he struck four goals in a 6-2 thrashing of Norwich, or how he got a brace on the final day of the season as Newcastle said goodbye to the Premier League with a 5-1 thumping of Tottenham.
Despite it being McClaren who brought him to Newcastle, Rafa Benitez was also a massive fan of the midfielder. He said: “When you have players with international experience, players that can make the difference, you want to see them winning the games. When you see him in training, you can see he has so much quality that he can be the difference and we will support him to do that.”
With four trophies now under his belt at Liverpool, including the two big ones in the Champions League and Premier League, there’s no questioning that Wijnaldum has soared since making an early exit from St James’ Park.
And in other news, Newcastle have just secured their best piece of business in 2020.