Liverpool: From Youri Tielemans to Houssem Aouar… the four candidates to replace Gini Wijnaldum

The confirmation of Gini Wijnaldum’s departure from Anfield has not only deflated Liverpool fans – it has left a huge gap in Jurgen Klopp’s base for the new season.

Wijnaldum – who was one of Klopp’s first signings at Anfield – became a mainstay within the Liverpool squad, helping the Merseyside club to become European and Premier League champions.

But Wijnaldum’s journey at Anfield has come to an end after he signed a three-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain after his contract with Liverpool expired in June, insisting he was not fully appreciated at the club. His departure will be hard felt as his versatility, confidence, availability and experience have been vital to the squad over the past five years.

Liverpool’s midfield could take another blow as Jordan Henderson’s future at Anfield looks increasingly uncertain. The club captain has two years left on his current contract – which he signed in 2018 – but negotiations for an extension have stalled.

The club will have to look to potential replacements for both Wijnaldum and Henderson this summer if they want to recapture their 2019-2020 title as Premier League champions next season, and the club could have their eye on a handful of talented stars ready to take on to step in. the spotlight.

Sports post looks at potential candidates who could bolster Klopp’s midfield this season.

Liverpool to replace Gini Wijnaldum (right), who signed for Paris Saint-Germain

They may also replace their club captain Jordan Henderson (above) this summer

They may also replace their club captain Jordan Henderson (above) this summer

Youri Tielemans

Age: 23

Club: Leicester

Nationality: Belgium

Youri Tielemans is a box-to-box midfielder who sets the pace for Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester side. His presence in the center of the park has caught the attention of several Premier League giants this summer, but it is Liverpool who are hoping to secure his signature.

The Merseyside club has long been a admirer of Tielemans and was among those hoping to take him from Anderlecht in 2017. Liverpool manager Klopp has also expressed his admiration for the 23-year-old in the past – praising the youngster for his contribution at Leicester.

Tielemans is a box-to-box midfielder who sets the pace for Brendan Rodgers' Leicester side

Tielemans is a box-to-box midfielder who sets the pace for Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester side

Tielemans' presence in midfield has caught the attention of several Premier League giants

Tielemans’ presence in midfield has caught the attention of several Premier League giants

The Reds boss would see Tielemans as the perfect replacement for Wijnaldum as he is a ‘controlling midfielder’ who can influence the game in a number of ways.

He is not only effective at maintaining possession and optimizing the space around him, but he is also a threat to the future. His vision and passing ability are an asset to his style of play. He is able to exploit the gaps in the opposition’s defenses and link the defense to the attack.

Tielemans is also considered a goal-scoring threat – he has the ability to knock off both feet from distance. While his spatial awareness and composure on the ball allow him to remain calm in high pressure situations and perform his role consistently.

Tielemans last season had the second most touches per 90 of all players over 1000 minutes at 76.5. He also became the most passed player in the squad. Liverpool fans are clamoring for the Belgian to join Klopp’s squad. He is considered the fan favorite to replace Wijnaldum at Liverpool this summer.

Jurgen Klopp would see Tielemans as the perfect replacement for the late Wijnaldum

Jurgen Klopp would see Tielemans as the perfect replacement for the late Wijnaldum

Houssem Aouar

Age: 22

Club: Lyon

Nationality: France

Houssem Aouar is considered one of the most successful players from the Lyon academy. His appearances for the club’s first team have attracted the attention of several Premier League giants.

The 22-year-old was in talks with Arsenal last season about a possible move to north London. However, he decided to stay in France – which resulted in Mikel Arteta’s deadline day signing Thomas Partey.

Aouar is one of the most successful players to emerge from the Lyon academy

Aouar is one of the most successful players to emerge from the Lyon academy

He was in talks with Arsenal last season about a possible move to North London.  However, he decided to stay in France - which resulted in Mikel Arteta's deadline day signing Thomas Partey

He was in talks with Arsenal last season about a possible move to North London. However, he decided to stay in France – which resulted in Mikel Arteta’s deadline day signing Thomas Partey

Now Aouar is on Jürgen Klopp’s radar as he looks to fill the void that Wijnaldum has left in his midfield. The Liverpool manager believes Aouar would be a good fit, given his impressive passing range, ball control and dribbling ability.

Aouar’s ability to take up scoring positions also makes him an attractive prospect for Liverpool. The 22-year-old averages 1.13 shots on target and 3.56 shots per 90 minutes.

Given his confidence in shooting, Aouar has established himself as one of the best open-play goal-scoring midfielders in Europe. He is currently at the top of the charts midfielders (who have played at least 1350 minutes) in the top five of Europe’s leagues for goals scored per 90 minutes without penalty.

His expected goals per 90 of 0.44 registers a greater return than Curtis Jones, Wijnaldum, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner and Naby Keita combined.

Moreover, Aouar’s undeniable desire to defend has also made him an attractive option for Klopp.

The 22-year-old tries an average of 2.6 tackles per 90 minutes and succeeds in about 64 percent of them. He also transitions seamlessly from offensive to defensive.

Aouar's ability to take up scoring positions also makes him attractive to Liverpool.  The 22-year-old averages 1.13 shots on target and 3.56 shots per 90 minutes

Aouar’s ability to take up scoring positions also makes him attractive to Liverpool. The 22-year-old averages 1.13 shots on target and 3.56 shots per 90 minutes

Franck Kessie

Age: 24

Club: AC Milan

Nationality: Ivory Coast

Liverpool are interested in a move to AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, the claim reports. However, they could face stiff competition for his signature after his impressive goal in the 2020-2021 season made him one of the most sought-after players this summer.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation more often last season and chose to use Kessie as one of the two pivotal figures for the defence. This allowed Kessie to thrive in Serie A.

Liverpool are interested in moving to AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie (L) this summer

Liverpool are interested in moving to AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie (L) this summer

The 24-year-old is currently in Tokyo, playing in the Olympics with Ivory Coast

The 24-year-old is currently in Tokyo, playing in the Olympics with Ivory Coast

The 24-year-old was able to break through the lines, play forward and score goals, while also remaining defensively for Milan. As a result, Kessie scored a remarkable 14 goals in all competitions last season – more than Wijnaldum’s total of two.

Kessie could give Klopp’s side extra firepower – who have scored just 68 goals compared to Manchester City’s 83 last term – and play an important role in their attacking philosophy.

Kessie would also be a good asset to Liverpool, as he is robust enough to avoid further injury to Liverpool.

In what had been an unprecedented football year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, many footballers were injured due to limited preparation and a hectic schedule. However, Kessie barely missed a game.

Kessie recorded the most minutes played by an outfield player for AC Milan during the 2020-2021 season. Theo Hernandez was next in line, but had nearly 300 minutes less than the 24-year-old.

Kessie – who is currently in Tokyo playing for Ivory Coast at the Olympics – could wear Liverpool’s midfield if they sustain injuries in the coming year.

Kessie (R) is entering the final 12 months of his San Siro contract and his future is uncertain

Kessie (R) is entering the final 12 months of his San Siro contract and his future is uncertain

Kessie can give Klopp extra firepower after scoring 14 goals last season

Kessie can give Klopp extra firepower after scoring 14 goals last season

Saul niguez

Age: 26

Club: Atletico Madrid

Nationality: Spain

Saul Niguez is a 26-year-old central midfielder with a massive motor and incredible work speed. His versatility would also prove invaluable at Liverpool.

Saul’s preferred position is on the left side of the field because he has a strong left foot. However, he can play in a variety of positions including midfield, forward or fullback.

Saul is known for his ability to find and exploit space, but it is his decision-making that allows him to do so. The 26-year-old finds the perfect balance between fitting and riding himself.

Due to his distribution, he can also play passes all over the park. However, it is his ability to deliver quick, cohesive passes in tight spaces that make him a standout player for Liverpool.

Saul Niguez is a 26-year-old midfielder with a huge engine and an incredible working speed

Saul Niguez is a 26-year-old midfielder with a huge engine and an incredible working speed

.