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How Georginio Wijnaldum has come of age for the Netherlands

Georginio Wijnaldum scored in the Netherlands
Georginio Wijnaldum scored in the Netherlands' win over Poland.
ANALYST
Modified 20 Nov 2020, 12:57 IST
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The morning after the Netherlands’ 2-1 win against Poland in the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League, Georginio Wijnaldum was one of the prominent names in most of the European newspapers.

Rumours became rife that the Liverpool midfielder had become a target of some of Europe’s elite clubs. Barcelona were interested in signing him during the summer, but, as of Thursday morning, some papers reported that Real Madrid and Inter Milan had also joined the race for the player's services.

While Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are bound to be worried by the increasing spotlight on the midfielder, Netherlands fans can be rest assured that Georginio Wijnaldum will be representing the nation at next summer’s European Championships.

Wijnaldum has evolved to become an integral player for Liverpool, helping the Reds to the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Club World Cup titles. Until recently, though, he wasn’t commanding a similar stature in the Netherlands national team.


Georginio Wijnaldum has come of age for the Netherlands

Georginio Wijnaldum exults after scoring for Netherlands.
Georginio Wijnaldum exults after scoring for Netherlands.

In recent times, the 30-year-old Georginio Wijnaldum has become indispensable in Frank de Boer’s Netherlands team. He may not be the captain of the Oranje, but he’s definitely one of the leaders in the team and is increasingly becoming their most important player.

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On Wednesday, Georginio Wijnaldum had a hand in both Netherlands goals as the Oranje came from a goal down to defeat Poland. After falling behind to a brilliant solo strike by Kamil Jozwiak early on, the Dutch midfielder won a penalty which Memphis Depay duly converted.

Six minutes from time, Georginio Wijnaldum’s deflected header handed the Oranje a deserved victory, leaving them just a point behind group winners Italy. If not for Wijanldum, the Netherlands would not have been close to Italy in the group, such has been his impact at the national team.

It was Georginio Wijnaldum's brace in a 3-1 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina at home last week that helped Boer record his first win as coach of the Netherlands

After the win over Poland, Georginio Wijnaldum admitted in an interview with NOS that the Oranje played one of their best matches in recent times.

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"I think this was one of our best matches. At the start, we weren't sharp, and they were able to score early, but otherwise it was good."

Georginio Wijnaldum continued in this regard:

"Only in transition can we do better. Sometimes we just don't look good. It's hard to train on it. We don't have much time to practice that sort of thing together between games. We have to make these steps as soon as possible if we want to do well at the European Championship. We did what we had to do."

The Liverpool midfielder has undoubtedly been the driving force for Boer, who has recorded the first two wins of his reign as coach of the Oranje.

Georginio Wijnaldum's goals have been crucial in the team's recent victories. Therefore, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to suggest that Wijnaldum is currently the Netherlands’ most important player. 

Published 20 Nov 2020, 12:57 IST
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