Georginio Wijnaldum made the move to Newcastle United from PSV in the summer for a reported £14.5 million but has the Dutch Midfielder been a success at St James Park?

  • By Jake Chamberlain
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wijnaldum 4After four successful years with PSV Eindhoven, Georginio Wijnaldum finally made the move away from Netherlands, joining Newcastle United in the summer. For Newcastle fans who had watched the Dutch midfielder previously, they knew this was a brilliant signing, with Wijnaldum joining on the back of captaining PSV to the 2014/2015 Eredivisie title. Newcastle was signing a Dutch International who was part of the impressive Dutch squad that finished third in the 2014 World Cup, and scored against Brazil in the third place play off. So after impressing in the Eredivisie and for his National team, the big question was, can Wijnaldum replicate his performances in the Premier League?

He started off his Newcastle United career emphatically scoring on his debut, thumping in a powerful header in a 2-2 draw against Southampton in the first game of the season. He was awarded Man of the match and looked right at home at St James Park. It was a disappointing start to the season for Newcastle United failing to win in their first eight Premier League games including a 6-1 defeat away to Manchester City. However, the Dutch international was a constant silver lining for Newcastle fans as his performances impressed despite the teams woeful start. Pressure was already on new manager Steve McClaren with many questioning if he was the right man for the job. The home match against Norwich City on the 18th October 2015 was seen as a must win game for McClaren and to ignite Newcastle’s season. Wijnaldum did not disappoint with one of the best individual performances the Premier League has seen in recent years, scoring four goals in an impressive 6-2 win. Wijnaldum struck a composed first, two headers and a superb long-range fourth showcasing his ability. This was only the second time a Newcastle United player had scored more than three goals in a Premier League game.

Unfortunately for Newcastle and for Wijnaldum, this did not ignite their season and their inconsistency was frustrating for the Geordie fans. After securing their first away win of the campaign beating Bournemouth 1-0 it was revealed that Georginio Wijnaldum had been directly involved in eight of Newcastle’s 13 goals this season. This highlighted what an important player Wijnaldum has become for the relegation threatened Newcastle and how he has settled comfortably in the Premier League. His quality was once again showcased as Newcastle beat Liverpool 2-0, with the ex-PSV captain involved in both goals as he forced Martin Skrtel into an own goal before sending St James Park into raptures, securing the win in the 93rd minute with a classy finish. This result was followed up by a sensational 2-1 win away at Tottenham Hotspur. After disappointing results in late December and early January for Newcastle and after a string of disappointing performances for Wijnaldum he scored in back to back games in a 3-3 draw against Manchester United and then in a critical 2-1 win against West Ham.

Now with only one win in their last eight games Newcastle United are in a real relegation battle, and Steve McClaren has been replaced with the experienced Rafa Benitez as they look to escape the drop down to the Championship. Wijnaldum has proved to be the shining star in a season to forget for Newcastle, with his versatility a huge bonus for the club, having played defensive midfield, central midfield, left midfield and central attacking midfield over the past few months.

Wijnaldum, who is currently the club’s top scorer with nine goals, is going to be crucial for Benitez in their hopes of survival, but even if Newcastle are relegated, he has showcased his ability and a number of top European clubs would seek his signature this summer.

Jake Chamberlain (9 Posts)