Liverpool should use transfer clause to land perfect Georginio Wijnaldum replacement

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be left with a big hole to fill without Georginio Wijnaldum at the heart of next season’s midfield. The 30-year-old is widely expected to leave Anfield this summer upon the expiry of his contract, with no movement regarding the prospect of a new deal.

It has been reported that Wijnaldum has already signed a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona, with Ronald Koeman said to be a huge admirer of the experienced midfielder.

His departure will leave the Reds in need of a top-class replacement in order to stand any chance of mounting a renewed Premier League title bid next season.

The Dutchman has played a consistent role in the middle of the park since his arrival from Newcastle United in the summer of 2016.

He was an important part of Liverpool’s recent domestic and European triumphs, excelling as a versatile box-to-box player with the ability to stand strong in defence while making useful attacking contributions.

A number of big-name options have been linked with the Merseyside club in advance of Wijnaldum’s departure, including Real Betis playmaker Nabil Fekir and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma.

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However, transfer chief Michael Edwards has gained a formidable reputation for signing high-potential players from the English leagues and turning them into superstars.

The likes of Andrew Robertson, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have all excelled since joining the club from Hull City, Charlton Athletic and Southampton respectively.

If Liverpool decide to dip into the domestic market once again, they could have the perfect answer to their Wijnaldum dilemma in the form of Sheffield United’s Sander Berge.

The 23-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance at times this season despite his side’s woeful Premier League campaign, and could be available for a cut-price fee this summer.

Berge has a buyout clause in his contract that will activate upon the Blades dropping down to the Championship, according to The Athletic, potentially allowing Liverpool to secure his services without facing the prospect of long and drawn-out negotiations at club level.

United’s impending relegation is unlikely to deter the Reds, who poached Wijnaldum from Newcastle when the Magpies were bound for the second tier.

Klopp is known to be a big fan of the Norway international, with the German boss first alerted to the midfielder during Liverpool’s Champions League victory over Genk two years ago.

Berge’s arrival would bring a number of welcome traits to last year’s Premier League champions, including the addition of a much-needed physical presence in the middle of the pitch.

He stands at close to two metres tall and benefits from an imposing frame, with his formidable presence in the engine room helping to win man-to-man battles with ease.

What’s more is that he is no slouch, possessing a remarkable burst of pace for a player of his size and stature.

His physical attributes in isolation almost make him worth a punt for Liverpool, who have failed to win their midfield battles on too many occasions this season.

Berge’s technical ability is solid, but not the best in the Premier League by any means, although his game would undoubtedly come on leaps and bounds while training alongside the likes of Thiago Alcantara every single day.

It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will aim to take advantage of his relegation buyout clause ahead of next season.

However, Klopp could do far worse than to take a gamble on another Premier League talent in order to fill the void left by Wijnaldum, who will leave an impressive legacy upon driving away from Anfield for the final time.

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