How Barcelona could line up with Wijnaldum next season
Gini Wijnaldum could finally be set to sign for Barcelona in the coming weeks after a season full of speculation surrounding his future at Liverpool.
The Dutchman’s contract at Anfield expires in June and he apparently said his goodbyes at Liverpool on the last day of the season in which he helped the club qualify for the Champions League.
Though he has never given an indication of his preferred destination as a free agent, Barcelona always looked the most likely scenario, especially with compatriot Ronald Koeman in charge.
Even though they are struggling financially, the Blaugrana hope to complete several high-profile free transfers in the summer of 2021, of which Wijnaldum may be one.
So, how would their starting XI look if they recruited the Liverpool man?
Barcelona starting XI with Wijnaldum
Despite links with Borussia Dortmund this week, Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be Barcelona’s number one goalkeeper again next season.
Midway through the 2020/21 season Barcelona opted to switch to a three-man central defence with Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest usually occupying wing-back roles slightly further ahead.
Koeman is known to prefer a 4-2-3-1 formation though, which can also be viewed as a 4-3-3 with Pedri on the left the three in midfield rather than behind the striker.
Eric Garcia could be signed from Man City, but with the players available just now it is likely Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo would be the first choice partnership with Oscar Mingueza and Samuel Umtiti also available.
The player most likely to make way for Wijnaldum in the current Barcelona team is legendary midfielder Sergio Busquets. Though his passing statistics remain superb, as well as his ability to control things, he tends to slow things down terribly at the age of 32 (he will turn 33 this summer).
A midfield trio of Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, and Wijnaldum seems the most likely.
Another player who it seems inevitable will join Barcelona is Sergio Aguero who is confirmed for the exit at Man City. Pep Guardiola basically let the cat out of the bag that the Argentine will indeed be heading to Camp Nou, so judging by that we can include him in the starting XI.
Lionel Messi, should he stay, will take up a position on the right with Antoine Griezmann on the left.
However, Griezmann will be wary that Barcelona’s fourth and final free agent target, Memphis Depay, can be deployed in his position.