April 19, 2021

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FC Barcelona – La Liga: Wijnaldum’s audition: Barcelona may have doubts after Real Madrid display


For sometime now Georginio wijnaldum has been strongly linked to a summer move to Barcelona, but his performance against real Madrid Tuesday, can make the Catalan club think twice.

The 30-year-old is without a contract this summer at Liverpool and seems certain to move on.

There have even been reports that the Dutchman has already made a deal with Joan laporta signing for Barcelona when he becomes a free agent in July.

WijnaldumLiverpool’s role in Liverpool’s disappointing performance at Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg could, however, suggest that he failed his audition.

After all, there’s hardly a better way to make a good impression at Barcelona than by playing well against their big rivals, but Wijnaldum was part of a midfielder who struggled to exert control over the game, at least until Thiago was brought in, and that Madrid played with ease.

Real Madrid’s chances against Liverpool all seemed to come so easily, with little pressure applied.

Wijnaldum himself seemed to stand by and watch like Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior took advantage of a lot of time and space in Liverpool’s box at third goal.

It’s been a bad night at the office for the Reds and the Netherlands international can’t take all the blame, but it raises questions about his suitability for a role in the Barcelona midfielder.

WijnaldumTuesday’s overall individual performance wasn’t that bad, but every Barcelona scout will have wanted to see him compete a little better with the Madrid midfielder.

Ronald koeman is a fan of his compatriot and the Camp Nou board will be a fan of the lack of transfer fees, but will a player who turns 31 come summer worth the investment?

Wijnaldum is a quality player, a disappointing night cannot change that but it is not clear that he would improve the Blaugrana squad or have guaranteed playing time before Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong or Pedri.

So there is a danger that the Dutch will become the new one Miralem Pjanic, a frustrated spectator from the bench.

In contrast, Busquets will be 33 next season and his minutes may need to be managed with more care.

Wijnaldum isn’t exactly the same player profile as Busquets, but he could provide Koeman with a more reliable rotation option than Pjanic.

The Liverpool midfielder would likely command a high salary, especially coming in with a free transfer, and Barcelona will have to consider whether it is worth paying that for a player on the wrong side who is thirty years old and who won’t necessarily be a key element in the side.

The answer to this question may depend in part on the agreements reached, if any. Sergio Aguero or Memphis Depay, other Barcelona players are linked with free transfers for.

Barcelona being unlikely to sanction transfer fees this summer, Wijnaldum may seem like too good an opportunity to miss, but there are lingering doubts about the common sense of bringing him in and his display against Real Madrid adds to those.