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Garth Crooks has written on BBC Sport that he is surprised that Georginio Wijnaldum is still at Liverpool.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion forward, who now works as a pundit for BBC Sport, was impressed by the performance of Wijnaldum during Liverpool’s win against Leicester City at the weekend.

While including him in his BBC Premier League Team of the Week, Crooks said that he felt that the former Newcastle United midfielder was heading for Barcelona in the summer transfer window.

The Guardian reported in September that the Spanish and European giants Barcelona wanted to sign the 30-year-old in the summer of 2020.

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Crooks wrote on BBC Sport: “I’m surprised this lad is still at Anfield. At one point I was almost certain that fellow Dutchman Ronald Koeman was going to take Wijnaldum to Barcelona.

“It made sense, of course. Wijnaldum is perfect for the Spanish giants but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp didn’t even dignify the rumours with a response and it wasn’t long before it was clear that Wijnaldum was going nowhere.

“For me, the Netherlands international is a coach’s dream. He works his socks off in every game and, in the absence of Jordan Henderson, is the player who links the back four to the front three.”

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Important player

Wijnaldum has been at Liverpool since 2016 and has been an important figure in the team over the years.

The Netherlands international midfielder played his role in the Reds winning the Premier League and the Champions League over the past two seasons.

With the Reds having injury problems at the moment, the importance of the 30-year-old will even grow now, as he is a very experienced and senior player.

Wijnaldum staying at Liverpool and not leaving for Barcelona in the summer of 2020 has been a positive for the Reds.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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