Georginio Wijnaldum 22 Midfielder PSV Eindhoven
When Georginio Wijnaldum broke through at his hometown club Feyenoord, he had that look that evoked glorious memories of Ruud Gullit. Looking as he did, with his bouncy dreadlocks and playing like he does, neat touches, constantly driving forward and an ability to score some fantastic goals; the comparisons were easy to make.
Thankfully, he didn’t let himself down and after over 100 appearances at his first club; he was snapped up by PSV Eindhoven in 2011 where things have continued to improve for the classic ‘number 10’.
Wijnaldum is a marvellous footballer; as you would expect the Dutch system to produce with all the necessary traits of a playmaker. He can control the tempo of a game, slip into space that others struggle to find and lays on chances for those around him. Georginio is a delight to watch regardless of whether he’s playing out wide or in his preferred central position.
His pace makes him a lot more mobile and harder to track than others that play in a similar position. So far, he’s proved he knows when and where to make late runs; and with that his goal scoring instincts are getting better. His final season with Feyenoord saw him scoring 14 times in the league. Last season, despite a lay-off with injury, he struck nine times for PSV. This season, he’s well on his way to improving upon that figure.
Too often for Feyenoord though, Wijnaldum got muscled off the ball and bullied out of games. He has obviously worked hard on that side of the game and bulked up as required. Nowadays he is more than capable of looking after himself in a scrap and that’ll help, especially as opposition teams will try to disrupt him more and more.
The best part of his game has to be his willingness and capacity to mix up what he does when he is in possession. Having received the ball in space and turned to face goal, Wijnaldum is just as adept at making a defence splitting pass as he is at turning his marker inside-out. The variation in his play will set him apart from his rivals for a place in the Dutch team.
In the last 15 months, Georginio has made the step-up to the Netherlands senior national team even though his time with the under-21 squad isn’t quite finished. Wijnaldum combined with Vitesse’s Marco van Ginkel in the midfield to help the Jong Oranje qualify for next summer’s UEFA under-21 European Championships. He’s made two appearances for the full Oranje side but it’ll be next season before Louis van Gaal makes him a regular name in his squads. Wijnaldum and van Ginkel should get a chance to finish the job before moving up into the spaces vacated by the current aging stars.
It’s almost criminal to think that PSV Eindhoven managed to pick Georginio Wijnaldum up for less than €5 million. Should Eindhoven and the player want to; they’ll be able to sell him on for four or five times that figure. Inter Milan and Benfica are among the European giants that have already had long, hard looks at him and they’ll know his price is just going to keep going up with every match-winning outing. Give him two years and he could very well be the attacking focal point of the ‘next’ Dutch side.
“Consistently excellent. The move to PSV was undoubtedly good for him and missing out on Euros selection did him no harm. Difficult to see what else he has to do to force his way into the national side.” - John Dobson (European Football Correspondent)
C+ Keep doing what you are doing