Georginio Wijnaldum has admitted he is not “completely happy” with his current situation at Paris Saint-Germain, whom he joined in the summer from Liverpool after his contract at Anfield expired.
The Dutchman relocated to the French capital as part of the club’s summer of financial muscle-flexing, in which Mauricio Pochettino added Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Nuno Mendes and of course Lionel Messi to his squad.
Since trading Merseyside for the City of Light, Wijnaldum has started just six games across all competitions, featuring only 12 minutes in the Champions League win over Manchester City, 19 minutes in the Trophee des Champions defeat to Lille, and four minutes in last month’s 2-1 victory over Lyon.
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Having started the first four games of the Ligue 1 season, Wijnaldum has been afforded just 92 minutes out of a possible 450 since, and he was even an unused substitute in the 4-0 win over Clermont Foot in mid-September, leading to concerns from the 30-year-old.
He told Dutch news outlet NOS: “I can’t say I’m completely happy, because the situation is not what I wanted.
“But that’s football and I’ll have to learn to deal with that. I’m a fighter. I have to stay positive and work hard to turn it around.
“I have played a lot in recent years, was always fit and also did very well. This is something different and that takes getting used to.
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“I was really looking forward to the new step and then this happens. It is very difficult.”
Wijnaldum, who captained the Netherlands over the summer for Euro 2020 in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, was speaking ahead of Oranje‘s recent 6-0 World Cup qualifying win over Gibraltar, and his current predicament naturally perturbed national head coach Louis van Gaal.
He said: “Of course I’m worried. I already talked to him about that when I arrived. But the alarm bells are not going off yet.”
Currently, Pochettino’s preferred midfield consists of Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera, with Danilo Pereira or Leandro Paredes at the base and Marco Verratti the standout star in the middle third when fit. Wijnaldum’s role as a marauding midfielder has had to take a back seat due to the attacking options available to Pochettino.