Georginio Wijnaldum left Liverpool earlier this summer after five years at Anfield but has endured a lacklustre start to his career at Paris-Saint Germain: Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal also says he is “worried” about the midfielder’s minutes at club level
By Joe Tanner
Georginio Wijnaldum admits he is “not completely happy” at Paris Saint-Germain and feels concerned over a lack of playing time following his summer move from Liverpool.
The 30-year-old left Anfield on a free transfer earlier this summer after failing to agree a new contract with the Reds but he has struggled to make an impact under Mauricio Pochettino at the Parc des Princes, registering just six starts in all competitions since arriving in the French capital.
Wijnaldum, who captained his country at Euro 2020 earlier this summer amid the absence of Virgil van Dijk, was brought in among a raft of high-profile signings during the last transfer window, with Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi also having joined the Parisians.
Since he was benched for the 4-0 win over Clermont Foot on September 11, Wijnaldum has played just 92 minutes of football in Ligue 1, and ahead of the Netherlands’ World Cup Qualifier against Gibraltar on Monday, the midfielder vented his frustration with PSG over his gametime so far this season.
He told Dutch news outlet NOS: “I can’t say I’m completely happy, because the situation is not what I wanted.
But that’s football and I’ll have to learn to deal with that. I’m a fighter. I have to stay positive and work hard to turn it around.
“I have played a lot in recent years, was always fit and also did very well. This is something different and that takes getting used to.
Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera have been Pochettino’s preferred options in central midfield this term, and Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal revealed he is also concerned about Wijnaldum’s start to life at his new club.
He said: “Of course I’m worried. I already talked to him about that when I arrived. But the alarm bells are not going off yet.”
Wijnaldum ended his five-year association with Liverpool in June. He scored 22 times in 237 matches for the Merseyside club, playing a key role in their success under Jurgen Klopp as well as the Reds’ Champions League and Premier League triumphs in 2019 and 2020.
The Dutchman, who holds 82 caps for his national team, was suspended for the 1-0 victory over Lativa in World Cup qualifying last Friday, but will likely be back in the starting line-up for Van Gaal’s side’s test against Gibraltar.