Paul Robinson has condemned Liverpool’s decision to let Georginio Wijnaldum leave as they get close to securing a £30m replacement.
Wijnaldum’s contract on Merseyside was not renewed prior to it expiring at the beginning of July. The Reds opted to let it run down and allow the 30-year-old to depart Anfield, a decision that raised eyebrows amongst the footballing community.
After all, the Dutch captain had been a constant in the Liverpool starting XI. In his five-year spell with the club he made a total of 237 appearances.
Although not taking up the advanced position he does for his country, he still contributed 22 goals and 16 assists during that time from the centre of the park.
Wijnaldum is now a Paris Saint-Germain player after they sold a more appealing project than heavy favourites Barcelona.
His former club are actively seeking a replacement in the transfer market. And according to Portugese-based journalist Pedro Almeida (via The Express), the man to fill the role is going to Renato Sanches.
He reported a deal for the Lille midfielder is ‘almost done’. This comes as little surprise as he was one of three players that Jurgen Klopp reportedly asked to be signed.
Despite viewing Sanches a suitable replacement, former England and Tottenham goalkeeper Robinson believes letting Wijnaldum go is a mistake that can’t be rectified.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “We’ve seen the injury problems that Liverpool have had this year and he [Wijnaldum] has really been one of their mainstays.
“You see his performances and the goals he’s got in the Euros. He’s going to be a real miss for Liverpool.
“I think Sanches can do that job. He’s a top-class player. But you look at Liverpool and you worry that they don’t have the finances to invest.
“I personally think they have missed a real trick by not signing Wijnaldum to a new deal.
“The length of the contract was the reason that’s been speculated that they didn’t re-sign him. But at his age and his fitness, there was no reason not to give him that length of contract.
“He’s a player that you’ll need to spend a fair amount of money to replace. So it would have been a better business decision and financial decision. You’re not going to get a better player.“
Sanches sealed, Saul soon?
In other Liverpool news, it appears they are finding out just how much midfield reinforcements are going to cost this summer.
They have reportedly been rebuffed after a €34million bid for Atletico Madrid and Spain midfielder Saul Niguez was knocked back.
Mundo Deportivo states that Diego Simeone’s men have turned down that offer as they value the player at nearer to €40m. But that figure is unlikely to cause Liverpool too many issues, given the quality of the player involved.