Gini Wijnaldum not sure about Newcastle reception as looks to break run
Gini Wijnaldum returns tomorrow to St James Park, the first visit since deserting after he helped Newcastle get relegated in 16 months ago.
A lot has changed in that time at both clubs but some things look very familiar.
Wijnaldum wasn’t a disastrous signing and even though six of his goals came in the bizarre 6-2 victory over Norwich (4) and in the meaningless last day win over Tottenham (2), to score 11 goals as an attacking midfielder in your first Premier League season, is still very decent.
Newcastle fans though felt it was like playing with a man short much of the time in away games, as Wijnaldum went missing.
He left Newcastle with a remarkable goal statistic.
A total of 11 goals in 40 Newcastle matches but that breaks down into 11 goals in 20 home games and zero in 20 away ones.
Moving to Liverpool and better players around him…however, remarkably his run has continued.
His record for the scousers is 6 goals in 46 games but that breaks down into 6 goals in 22 home matches and zero goals in 24 away games.
The Wijnaldum tally for English clubs is now played in 86 games and scored 17 goals, with 17 goals in 42 home games and no goals in 44 away matches.
Speaking earlier this month about his return to St James Park, the midfielder says that Newcastle are a club ‘which is in my heart’, something which is hard to reconcile with deserting your employers less than a year into your contract, after being partly responsible for the disaster of relegation.
Wijnaldum says he has ‘heard’ he won’t be getting a great reception but ‘I still love that club’.
The Dutch international scored in a 2-0 win over Liverpool in the relegation season so lets hope he doesn’t break that away no goal record on Sunday and doesn’t increase his scoring record in games between the two clubs.
After being rested/benched in midweek for the Spartak Moscow game, he is very likely to play against Newcastle – with the Rafa Benitez factor and fans simply wanting to focus on their team, I don’t see many Newcastle supporters giving much attention to somebody who hardly had time to unpack his suitcase before jumping ship.
Gini Wijnaldum speaking earlier in September:
“They gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League.
“The fee was a lot of money at the time and a lot of clubs didn’t want to take the risk that they took.
“The people at the club and the fans treated me real good.
“I don’t have a bad word to say about Newcastle and I am happy that they are back in the Premier League where they belong.
“Will I get a good reception there? I don’t know.
“I heard it won’t be great for me but I still love that club.
“When I needed them, when I went there as a new signing, they supported me. I had a feeling they were happy I was there.
“When a club like Liverpool come and give you the opportunity to play in the Premier League again…it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world so I didn’t think twice.
“I wanted to make the transfer and I’m happy that I did.”
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