Liverpool want Teun Koopmeiners to replace Georginio Wijnaldum

Liverpool have been linked with AZ Alkmaar holding midfielder Tuen Koopmeiners as a Georginio Wijnaldum replacement.
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The one position that Liverpool seemed to have been well prepared in this season is in defensive midfield. Between the brilliance of Fabinho and the versatility of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara, it seems Liverpool have never been without a world-class option. 

It seemed odd then that the Reds were linked with a move for AZ Alkmaar holding player Tuen Koopmeiners. The Dutch international has experience at the top level, playing in the Europa League six times this campaign.

Tuen Koopmeiners

Despite this though, it still seems odd that Liverpool have been linked to another player in one of their strongest positions, but is it? Koopmeiners is not your typical holding player, scoring 15 times and assisting five in the Eredivisie this season. 

Actually, his stats for the season make you believe that Koopmeiners is more of a 10 than a 6, but he is in fact the best of both. The Dutchman brings a threat whilst also bringing a high work rate, a show of defensive stability, and a world-class attacking outlet.

The midfielder attempts 16 pressures per 90, succeeding with six of them, this means he completes almost four more per game than the player he would most likely be replacing, Georginio Wijnaldum. 

On top of pressures, Koopmeiners completes over double the number of tackles as his fellow countryman at 2.33 compared to just 1.03.

It's important to remember though that Koopmeiners competes in what is widely considered to be a lower quality league, meaning his stats could be padded due to weaker opposition. 

Wijnaldum is often seen as Liverpool's all-action, all-rounded midfielder however at a glance he seems to be outranked in almost every way by Koopmeiners. 

The one aspect Koopmeiners really shines is his attacking output. As previously mentioned, Koopmeiners sits on 19 goal contributions for the season, but that's not the whole tale.

Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League, Quarter final, 1st leg football match between Real Madrid and Liverpool FC on April 6, 2021 at Alfredo Di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas, Madrid, Spain - Photo Oscar J Barroso / Spain DPPI / DPPI / LiveMedia/Sipa USA

The midfielder takes 1.52 shots per game, getting 52% of them on target, while also managing to complete a pass into the penalty area every game.

The fact he has the ability to create and score is rare and is something the Premier League hasn't seen at a high level since Yaya Toure was in his prime.

There is no suggestion that Koopmeiners and Toure are on the same level, but the skill set is there and there is a clear comparison statistically. Koopmeiners could add another dimension to the squad, using his unique skill set to boss the midfield in ways Liverpool haven't had since Steven Gerrard. 

Paired with the defensive ability of Fabinho, the passing range of Thiago and the energy of Jordan Henderson, Koopmeiners could be the most underrated option to replace Wijnaldum. 

Valued at just £15.75 million on Transfermarkt, it seems the Reds would almost be silly not to go in for him, with the Dutchman supplying the value that the board and sporting director Michael Edwards love to identify in the market.