Georginio Wijnaldum: How the Newcastle star performed following much-needed position change

Newcastle United

Newcastle star Georginio Wijnaldum impressed against Watford.

As the Magpies lost to Watford, there was little to shout about on Saturday, but one player caught the eye with a strong performance in a new position.

Georginio Wijnaldum was moved into a deeper midfield role by Steve McClaren, allowing him to fulfil the box-to-box position which he excelled in during his time with PSV.

So far this term, the Dutch international was utilised as a number 10, which although he has a good goal record, is far from his best position.

The deeper role allows him to still get in good scoring positions, but it means that he shows off all his other talents - something he had failed to do so far this season.

Taking up the double-pivot position in the loss to Watford meant that Wijnaldum was impressive, even if many of his teammates were not, and he put in his statistically best all-round performance since moving to St James’ Park.

Against the Hornets, he managed a higher total of every action than he has on average this whole campaign, with his offensive work especial impressive.

He managed three key passes and two dribbles - higher than his seasonal average - whilst he played more passes - 52 - than average, and with a higher passing accuracy.

Wijnaldum also played a better defensive role, supporting Jack Colback with at least one of every defensive action - something he had failed to achieve in any game running up to the Watford tie.

It was not a game changing performance by any means, but it was undoubtedly the best game he has played since moving to Newcastle, and although defeat was tasted by the Magpies, it appears one of their key players is starting to perform to the best of his abilities.

It is just a surprise it took McClaren so long to play Wijnaldum in his best position.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch