One of the main criticisms of Gini Wijnaldum during his time at Newcastle United was that he failed to contribute away from home, with all of his 11 league goals coming at St James’ Park. This was brushed aside as being caused by the team’s bad form on the road, but the Dutch international is having similar problems at Liverpool. There have been a number of fans commenting on his poor performances away and how he looks like a different player to the one that they see at Anfield. Interestingly, the stats seem to back this up and it could be that there is a mentality problem that prevents him from doing well away from home.
This season, the midfielder has contributed three goals and four assists in the Premier League. The majority of these have come at home, with only one assist coming away from Anfield and that was on the first day of the season against Arsenal. Since then, he hasn’t posed much of a threat and that is a concern as he is expected to play a part in attack. In terms of shots per ninety minutes, he averages 2.14 at home compared to 1.35 away. It would be expected that the team, and Wijnaldum by extension, will have more opportunities to score at Anfield. However, this clearly underlines the bigger threat that the Dutchman possesses when at home.
He sees more of the ball away from home, showing that he is an integral part of the side’s gameplan, despite his lack of influence. The former Newcastle player averages 53.8 passes per ninety minutes at an accuracy of 87.1%, compared to an average of 51 passes at an average of 87.9 at home. Moreover, he plays slightly lower key passes at 1.2 per ninety minutes on the road than he does at Anfield (1.3). Although these are only fractional differences, they do support the general point that Wijnaldum isn’t as good away from home.
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