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Robinson warns Liverpool against repeating crucial Wijnaldum mistake

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By Shrishh Attavar

Paul Robinson warns Liverpool against treating Thiago Alcantara like Gini Wijnaldum

Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp signed Georginio Wijnaldum in 2016 after the Dutchman spent a year with Newcastle United. Five successful seasons later, the former PSV man moved to Paris Saint-Germain in search of a new challenge in 2021. The Reds have found it tough to replace Wijnaldum in their starting XI for over two seasons now.

Ever-reliable, even though he struggled in his last season. Rarely injured, he was able to raise his game when the situation demanded it. It was bound to be challenging to replace a player like Gini, who ticked almost all boxes. Moreover, the player left the club for free, which added to the misery for Liverpool. Losing a guaranteed starter for absolutely nothing.

Former Tottenham Hotspur goalie Paul Robinson speaking on Football Insider (h/t The Express), warned Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp of the mistake they made in letting Gini leave on a free. He wants the club to understand that they should avoid similar situations with current midfield mainstay Thiago Alcantara.

Paul Robinson warns Liverpool against treating Thiago Alcantara like Gini Wijnaldum.
Liverpool have been warned against letting Thiago follow Georginio Wijnaldum. (Image: GETTY)

Thiago joined the Reds in 2020 after a successful stint in Germany with Bayern Munich. In his time for Liverpool, he has been a revelation in midfield whenever available for selection. He has grown to become one of the first names on the team sheet in important fixtures.

In 73 appearances for the Reds across all competitions, the Spain international has scored three goals and got five assists. However, his game is beyond statistics. The influence he has on the tempo of the game and his control of situations is the branch of his game which should garner attention.

Wijnaldum and Thiago played together for one season at the Reds and had a fairly good partnership in midfield, alongside Fabinho. The Spaniard can be a tad bit frustrating with his injury frequency but on the pitch, he always stands shoulders above anyone else when on song.

Paul Robinson warns Liverpool against treating Thiago Alcantara like Gini Wijnaldum..
Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool is challenged by Carney Chukwuemeka of Aston Villa. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The former Barcelona midfielder is out of contract from the Reds in 2024. Even though there is still enough time, Robinson believes that the club should tie him down for a longer period, hence avoiding the mistake the Reds couldn’t in Wijnaldum’s situation.

“It is very, very important that Liverpool tie him down for another couple of years. They let Wijnaldum go too early. That move did not work for either party, let’s be honest. Wijnaldum should have stayed. They underestimated how important he was for them. They cannot be in the same situation with Thiago. I think they have to keep him.”

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Robinson is right in the fact that Thiago has been very integral to the Reds. Hence, losing Thiago on a free is not something the Reds can afford given his influence on Liverpool. Moreover, age does not seem to be a huge issue for the player, who keeps on delivering week in and week out even at the age of 31.