So Gini Wijnaldum left Liverpool for Paris Saint Germain this summer on a free transfer after months of ongoing contract discussions with the club. I think it’s fair to say players come and go for every club, players want new challenges, clubs want better players or simply can’t offer their assets what they want. Whether it’s financial or if the club isn’t challenging for honours. It’s the nature of the beast!
What struck me odd with the ongoing debacle that was Gini’s future was, he kept leaving subtle hints not all was well with what was going on behind the scenes, suggesting he really wants to stay at Liverpool and doesn’t want to move. So as fans we start to think have FSG not offered him a new contract? Because if what Gini says is true, surely striking a deal to keep a player like him at the club isn’t such a big ask. Like Roberto Firmino’s no look contract renewal, done and dusted in the matter of hours. Gini was on £75,000 a week at Liverpool which is clear he wasn’t one of the highest paid players at the club. At the end of the day however he signed the contract and the length of that contract at the time so from a business aspect if he feels let down by the club in anyway, he shouldn’t have signed such a lengthy contract.
Now Gini told us it wasn’t about money but the length of the contract but it was reported that Gini wanted his wages doubled (not confirmed) to near £150,000 a week, which regardless of how highly you rate Gini, for me, is a lot of money to be giving a 31 year old. Irrespective of the fee, to double a players wages at that age is NOT a great business decision. I don’t want this article to be an attack on Gini but at the end of the day, take the Barcelona game out of the equation. Has his performances week in week out been in anyway way good enough to double his wages? He stepped up in that game because he unhappy at being on the bench. He made that clear in his interview after the game, taking a clear swipe at Jurgen Klopp in the process.
He left fans frustrated with his displays last season, very much hiding and being more of a passenger for the majority. Probably a lot to do with the fact he knew he was playing week in, week out. Others will suggest it was to do with his ongoing contract issues and also downing tools.
Think about the stick some fans gave Thiago when he first joined and then compare his performances to Gini’s. Thiago was doing a lot more but because of our situation with major injuries to Virgil Van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and the rest. He wasn’t getting chance to showcase his abilities. These are the times you need big players to step up to the plate and some will argue this point but the majority will agree, Gini didn’t. His biggest asset is he is NEVER gets injured and is always available for selection and don’t get me wrong that is a big bonus to a demanding Liverpool calendar but I will leave it to you the reader to suggest whether that warrants doubling his wages.
As it came to the embers of the season it was obvious Gini was leaving for Barcelona. Clearly talks had broken down to the point where they were unsalvageable and from a business aspect and Gini was going to leave the club. He waved goodbye to the fans and that was that… or so we thought. Instead of joining Barcelona however, PSG tabled a £310,000+ a week contract, which Gini couldn’t have signed any quicker! My first thought here is wow! I thought BArcelona was your dream move and it wasn’t all about money?
Fair enough I would have signed that contract, it’s probably your last big move and chance to make a lot of money. I would NEVER deny a man providing for his family, my only issue is Barcelona was his dream move and he had spent months suggesting it wasn’t about the money… Something clearly doesn’t add up there but I suppose when PSG are throwing that amount of money about we can let that one slide. Over the next few weeks, instead of moving on amicably, Gini would suggest the full story of why he left would be told.
“Now is not the time to talk about Liverpool and the reason I left, someday I will do that, after the tournament. Then it will become clear to everyone why things went the way they did.
People look at it from the outside and don’t understand it. There are many supporters who ask me why I didn’t just accept Liverpool’s offer to extend my contract. “But that’s not all of course. It’s about much more than that. Things happen behind the scenes that are beyond your control as a player.
I’ll explain that after the tournament, because now only Oranje counts. What I do want to say is that the people at the training complex, the employees of the club and my fellow players would have liked to keep me.
I did tell them more. After that they completely understood my decision. That’s important to me.”Gini Wijnaldum
As fans we are now starting to ask questions of how FSG can let an asset like Gini leave? What is Gini getting at? What’s happened? Clearly this isn’t about money if he has come out with those quotes.. I cannot wait to hear what Gini has to say!
The Euros conclude and Gini Wijnaldum releases his long awaited response, the thing the players and staff “completely understood his decision” over. We are about to find out about the things that “are beyond his control”. Instead we get a half arsed article about how Liverpool fans had abused him on social media. Firstly I would like to say I DO NOT accept any forms of online abuse, I have seen how this can effect people. I agree social media has to do a lot more to protect its users, you should only be allowed to open an account with official identification. But after spending the last several months suggesting “We as the fans don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes” to come out with this is a farce.
Gini said “When it went bad, I was the player who they blamed – that I wanted to leave. On social media, if we lost, I was the one who got the blame. There was a moment when I was like: ‘Wow. If they only knew what I was doing to stay fit and play every game.’ Other players might have said: ‘OK, I am not fit. You get players in their last year who are like: ‘I’m not playing because it is a risk.’ I did the opposite.”Gini Wijnaldum
He mentions absolutely nothing about contractual talks which I find mind boggling. Surely if you have left because of fan abuse then Liverpool offering you £300,000 a week wouldn’t make a difference? Surely you would leaving anyway? Clearly this is all about money and from a business point of view Liverpool have deemed it an unnecessary expenditure. You shouldn’t be leaving subtle hints to all is not well and that “You will tell your side of the story” just because you aren’t valued at what you think you are. That is toys out of the pram type of drama!
Yes Gini in the grand scheme of things probably did deserve a wage increase, he’s played a lot of minutes for the club. Especially when the likes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are earning more money than he is whilst lying on the treatment table but what goes on with other players is irrelevant. We as a club have improved under Klopp and FSG to sustain a vastly improved business model, making a lot more money than when Gini signed his contract. I really feel this is Gini’s main issue with the whole debacle but unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, is the nature of the beast!
Now Gini has now signed for PSG netting a MASSIVE £310,000 a week and I am happy for him but at the end of the day it is clear this was all about money, and that is absolutely fine! Just don’t make it out to be anything more than that!
That being said, he has been a great servant to Liverpool Football Club and I wish him all the best for the future.. YNWA!