With a £12 million bid, Liverpool could have chosen a different way with Gini Wijnaldum.
There doesn’t seem to be a transfer window that goes by without the name Piotr Zielinski and Liverpool being referenced.
Despite having a £11.75 million deal turned down while the player was at Udinese, Jurgen Klopp decided against signing the Polish international in the summer of 2016 and went forward with the purchase of Gini Wijnaldum.
While you can’t fault Klopp for signing the Dutchman, The Washington Newsday spoke with Kaus Pandey, the new editor of Get Italian Football News, about Zielinski’s progress at Napoli.
On a special Blood Red podcast, Pandey remarked, “I like Zielinski a lot; he was probably one of the top midfielders in Serie A last season.”
“I mentioned [Philippe] Coutinho and guys who can contribute goals from midfield: Zielinski is certainly one of those players who is not only capable of playing in central midfield but also in attacking midfield.
“He’s been utilized out wide by the Polish national team and all of Napoli’s coaches in the last four or five seasons.”
Last season, Zielinski made 36 appearances for Napoli, scoring eight goals and assisting on 11 occasions.
“He regularly came up with big moments in really crucial games for Napoli,” Pandey believes it was the 27-year-best old’s performance in a Napoli shirt.
“Of course, they didn’t quite make it into the Champions League because of what happened in the final game of the season, but he’s definitely one of the league’s greatest midfielders.”
During the 2016 summer transfer window, Reds fans were split on whether Wijnaldum or Zielinski would be more suited to Klopp’s approach.
Pandey then went on to compare and contrast Liverpool’s former number five with the player who was ultimately overlooked.
“He was on Liverpool’s radar before they bought Gini Wijnaldum, and he’s a lot like him,” Pandey said.
“He’s the type of player that can play through the press, has a high work rate, and can play multiple positions.
“Gini Wijnaldum was a versatile player who did not simply play for Liverpool.”
“The summary comes to an end.”