The talented Dutchman has failed to kick on after an excellent start to the season.
The 24-year old has generally been deployed in a deeper central midfield role this season - with his defensive responsibilities limiting his influence in the attacking third – and the Dutchman would look to be shifted further forward.
“In this kind of situation it is not about me, it is about the team and what the trainer asks of me,” he said.
“That is what I will do… We must perform as a team and do things as a team. I played controlled-midfielder, I prefer to play a little bit higher.
“But if the team needs a controller and someone who can make dribbles then that is what I can do.”
His performances have been far more subdued since then, however, and there is a sense that the full extent of his capabilities are not best utilised in his current role.
Despite this, Wijnaldum has been the most exciting of the big-money summer arrivals at St James' Park, and his quality is in no doubt.
The challenge now falls on McClaren to get the best out of the powerful midfielder, and on recent evidence, a change of position may be in order.