Gini Wijnaldum was missing from Liverpool’s trip to the London Stadium last Monday night, where the side only managed to pick up a point against a resilient West Ham.
Wijnaldum’s absence was clear to see. The midfield combination of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Adam Lallana struggled to create chances for the front three throughout the 90 minutes. The game was crying out for someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and unfortunately for Liverpool, none of the midfield trio were able to do that on the night.
Although he was a doubt throughout the week due to illness, Wijnaldum returned to the side on Saturday in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at home to Bournemouth where the team looked back to their free-flowing best.
The Dutch international scored his first goal at Anfield since September 2017 with a delightful chip over a helpless Artur Boruc.
The struggling Keita looked far more comfortable and Wijnaldum’s strong presence allowed Fabinho to have a lot more freedom and space in the midfield.
The reintroduction of Wijnaldum to the side also further demonstrated how well he and Fabinho work together in midfield. This season, the pair have started eight games together in midfield, winning seven of those and drawing the other away at The Emirates.
In those eight games, Liverpool scored 23 goals while only conceding four at the other end.
At times this season, Wijnaldum has had to carry his midfield partners when the team has needed to dig deep to get results, however, this could be the solution to the midfield problem.
For Liverpool to go all the way in this title run. they will need Wijnaldum to continue performing the way he has done so far this season and Jurgen Klopp should continue to play the Dutchman alongside Fabinho as the team has had so much success when those two have featured.