Whilst nothing has been decided at this point in the 2015/16 Premier League relegation dog-fight – apart from the seemingly obvious fate awaiting Aston Villa come the end of the season perhaps – this current campaign has ultimately proven nothing short of a disaster for Newcastle United.
£14.5m summer recruit Georginio Wijnaldum has nonetheless represented somewhat of a shining light for the Magpies in this unfortunate campaign, and despite suffering his own fair share of inconsistency issues, he could indeed go on to play a major role in Newcastle’s survival hopes.
So then, with the threat of relegation still lingering rather heavily at St. James’ Park, will Rafa Benitez’s newfound side manage to hold onto their star performer this summer, or does Wijnaldum deserve to leave his current employers regardless of where the Magpies ultimately end up this term?
Well, as both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are reportedly keen on landing the 25-year-old Netherlands international should Newcastle find themselves demoted back down to the Championship in 2015/16, surely the Tyneside hierarchy have a distinct task on their hands in managing to maintain Wijnaldum’s current position at their club.
Despite the Magpies’ dreadful run of performances throughout the current league campaign, the recently acquired attacking midfielder has seemingly presented himself as one of the standout signings of the season, as well as someone who could potentially go on to achieve great things right at the very top of the English game itself.
Via his intelligent reading of the game inside the final third, impressive eye for goal in and around the opposition’s penalty box, and clear prowess when assisting opponents in one-on-one situations, this is a player who could easily build on his reputation in the Premier League next season, even if the St. James’ faithful ultimately see their side relegated come the end of term.
Wijnaldum certainly seems like a player worthy of operating in the English top-flight with all things fairly taken into account, for when Newcastle United have been at their best this season, the club’s newly installed Dutch talisman has, arguably, been at the forefront of everything positive to take place on Tyneside.
Yes, the 25-year-old attacking-midfielder does admittedly have a tendency to ghost out of certain matches just when the rest of his team-mates seem to require his presence the most, and Wijnaldum simply hasn’t looked half as good when operating away from home in 2015/16 it must also be said, but considering the sheer lack of quality surrounding him, the composed ex-PSV Eindhoven captain can hardly be viewed too harshly within the grand scheme of things.
It seems highly unlikely, and somewhat unfortunate on the part of the loyal Magpies fan-base, that a player of his calibre will still be representing Newcastle United beyond the final game of the current season. Such an inconvenient notion remains a little pessimistic in the cold light of day, yet will that ultimately stop the likes of West Ham and Tottenham from looking to tempt the impressive Dutchman away from the North-East this summer? Arguably not…
Put in no uncertain terms whatsoever, many have recently deemed Georginio Wijnaldum as ‘too good for Newcastle’ regardless of whether or not Rafa Benitez has what it takes to maintain Premier League survival down on Tyneside this term.
The widely admired 25-year-old therefore looks set to receive a great deal of interest throughout the upcoming summer transfer window, leaving his current employers with little choice but to put the 2015/16 season – and all its subsequent consequences – well and truly behind them.