Liverpool Transfers: 3 possible replacements for Gini Wijnaldum

Liverpool, Gini Wijnaldum (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Liverpool, Gini Wijnaldum (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Lyon, Houssem Aouar
Lyon, Houssem Aouar (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

It looks like Gini Wijnaldum‘s illustrious Liverpool career is all but over. Though some feel the need to nitpick Jurgen Klopp’s public comments that the midfielder is a club legend, his importance to the team during a period that includes a Premier League and Champions League triumph cannot be overstated. Wijnaldum’s accomplishments and contributions to the Reds are befitting of that status.

But now, it is time to move on. Wijnaldum is reportedly close to joining Barcelona on a free transfer, as the Reds balked on offering the 30-year-old his wage demands. It is a bit of a risky move, but it’s probably the best decision for a club that needs to carefully maneuver its finances.

Wijnaldum’s spot will need replacing, and these are big shoes to fill. Here are three possible replacements for the excellent Dutchman.

Lyon CM Houssem Aouar

We begin with Lyon center midfielder Houssem Aouar, who will be one of the most coveted young players on the transfer market this summer. The Ligue 1 side will be essentially forced to sell the player after failing to negotiate a deal at their preferred asking price of around 50 million euros last summer. Aouar could now cost about half that amount, which would be a great investment for Liverpool.

The Reds should aim high in midfield, but they cannot afford to pay a world-class price. At 30 million euros, though, Liverpool could sign a future world-class midfielder in Aouar at a price that is normally the going rate for a solid player.

Aouar offers a lot creatively. He was tremendous in last year’s Champions League, playing a key role in Lyon knocking out Juventus in the opening round. Aouar has the skills, intelligence, and progressive style of play that could help him fill some of what Gini Wijnaldum did, though the defensive work likely won’t be quite there.