Since breaking through at boyhood club Feyenoord, the position of attacking midfield has come to be Wijnaldum’s best role as well as the one he’s commonly played.
Of his 40 appearances with the Magpies, though, he was used there on just 16 occasions despite it becoming apparent that operating behind the frontline allows him the freedom to play his natural game which is essentially acting as a secondary striker knowing full well there’s protection behind him.
In his final season with PSV, which saw him being named Dutch Footballer of the Year, manager Phillip Cocu utilised Wijnaldum behind the centre-forward in 28 of his 43 appearances (65%) to great effect. He’d contribute with 14 goals, which played a significant role in their relentless march towards a 22nd championship, ending seven barren years without the biggest prize in Dutch football.
Also – and most importantly – the energy he possesses makes him a viable asset when it comes to pressing, something Klopp demands and expects from his front four.
Wijnaldum playing behind the centre-forward/false nine will create space for Reds captain Jordan Henderson to drift into.
Given the many attacking options at Klopp’s disposal, some are certain to lose out. Philippe Coutinho often played out-wide last season, cutting inside to great effect, and the addition of Sadio Mane – who is expected to play from the opposite flank – means the likes of Adam Lallana could find a starting berth difficult to come by.