Could Renato Sanches replace Gini Wijnaldum at Liverpool?

David Lynch
  • David Lynch
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST
  • 2 min read
David Lynch Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST 2 min read
Could Renato Sanches replace Gini Wijnaldum at Liverpool?

Renato Sanches has become the latest player to be cited as a potential replacement for Gini Wijnaldum at Liverpool.

With the influential Dutchman nearing the end of his contract, the Reds could be forced to dip into the market for midfield reinforcements this summer.

And Lille star Sanches is reportedly on Jurgen Klopp’s list of targets in the event that Wijnaldum does leave.

But, just how likely is a move for the Portugal international?

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  • Sanches has certainly rediscovered his best form in France after enduring a disappointing three-year stay at Bayern Munich.

    The Portuguese has started to show the qualities that earned him his big move to Bavaria in the first place, becoming a key man for a Lille side who currently lead Ligue 1.

    Much like Wijnaldum, Sanches isn’t afraid to get stuck in, and has averaged more recoveries P90 than any other midfielder in the French top-flight this term with 10.1.

    He is also keen to get on ball, with his 96.5 touches P90 placing him just behind four of the division’s big-hitters in Cesc Fabregas, Leandro Paredes, Idrissa Gueye and Marco Verratti.

    One of Wijnaldum’s other major strengths is his reliability on the ball, a fact borne out by a pass completion rate of 92% in the Premier League this term.

    Sanches isn’t far behind, completing 89% of his passes – the ninth best rate among midfielders in Ligue 1 this season.

    An impressive average of 23.1 of those passes per 90 minutes has been into the final third.

    Still just 23 years old, Sanches has plenty of room for improvement, something that will surely appeal to Klopp and Liverpool’s recruitment staff.

    If the the Reds are unable to convince Wijnaldum to pen fresh terms, as is the current priority, a move for one of Ligue 1’s standout players this season should not be ruled.