Former Liverpool midfielder John Barnes believes the ideal long-term replacement for midfielder Gini Wijnaldum is a player who is already plying his trade in the Premier League.
Wijnaldum’s future has been cast into doubt after it became increasingly more obvious he was unlikely to extend his contract which expires in the coming months.
Often touted as a summer target for Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona, Wijnaldum’s next destination appears to be abroad.
However, despite the disappointment of seeing one of their first-team stars reject the chance to extend their Anfield stay, Wijnaldum’s time in Merseyside will largely be remembered as a hugely successful period.
Best known for his two crucial goals against Barcelona in the 2018-19 Champions League semi-final, Wijnaldum has played a huge role in the Reds claiming recent European and domestic silverware.
However, as the Dutchman’s time at Liverpool draws to an end, former player Barnes believes now is the time for Klopp to pursue a replacement.
One player Barnes has highlighted as the ideal successor to Wijnaldum is Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma.
“Yves Bissouma has the ability to play at a team like Liverpool,” Barnes told Bonus Code Bets (as quoted by the Daily Mail).
“He could fill what Jurgen Klopp wants from the three midfield players.
“He is strong defensively, he works hard, he plays the ball quickly and every now and then when he needs to dribble, as much as we don’t speak about Brighton, you know he can do it, because he has [in the past].
“Of all the players playing in England, that could fit the template of Liverpool’s midfield three, he is one of them.
“He looks like Georginio Wijnaldum, although he doesn’t attack as much as ‘Gini’ [Wijnaldum], because Brighton plays a different style of football, when Bissouma wants to he can. He is 24 and young, he would be a great fit.”