BBC pundit thinks he's already spotted Gini Wijnaldum's perfect replacement

Sam Preston March 9, 2021
BBC pundit thinks he's already spotted Gini Wijnaldum's perfect replacement
Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

BBC pundit Garth Crooks feels Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse would be an ideal replacement for Gini Wijnaldum at Liverpool.

Ward-Prowse netted a penalty for the Saints as they ended their winless run with a 2-0 victory against Sheffield United on Saturday.

That earned him a place in Crooks’ team of the week – which didn’t contain any Liverpool players after their 1-0 home loss to Fulham.

Wijnaldum’s contract expires at the end of the season and it looks nearly certain that he’ll leave Anfield in the summer.

Carl Recine – Pool/Getty Images

“This lad has been unfortunate not to appear in my team more often this season. I am convinced Southampton would be in serious trouble were it not for James Ward-Prowse.

“We know he can take a free-kick and that he is capable of covering the ground, but he also has a superb temperament. The Saints had no-one better to take their penalty under their current circumstances.

“His contribution against Sheffield United thereafter was immense. It’s clear Gini Wijnaldum is almost certain to leave Liverpool at the end of the season for Barcelona. I can’t think of a better replacement than Ward-Prowse.

“Only Matt Le Tissier, James Beattie, Marians Pahars and Danny Ings have scored more Premier League goals for Southampton than James Ward-Prowse’s 28.”

Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Liverpool have of course picked off Southampton a few times in the past to bolster their squad.

It remains to be seen how much Liverpool will have to spend in the summer.

They are in serious danger of missing out on European football altogether and were shopping for bargains in the January transfer window.

The prospect of losing Wijnaldum on a free makes the prospect of replacing him even harder – and Ward-Prowse wouldn’t come cheap.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Sam Preston a senior football writer for the Boot Room and United in Focus. He is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist with five years of professional experience writing digital content. He studied with the Press Association and also has a 2:1 Law with French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Burnley, Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.