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Wijnaldum is set to join for £25m.

Why did Liverpool choose Georginio Wijnaldum over Mario Gotze?

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Well, that escalated quickly. This time last week, we didn't even know Jurgen Klopp was interested in Newcastle star Georginio Wijnaldum. Now, it appears the Liverpool manager has agreed to fork over £25million to bring him to Anfield. That's German efficiency for you.

There are several reasons why the sizeable transfer has left a few on Merseyside confused. For one, Liverpool already have a plethora of players who like to attack without actually playing as a striker. Think about Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, the recently signed Sadio Mane, and you start to wonder where Wijnaldum will fit in.

But Klopp's pursuit of an attacking midfielder goes back further than this Dutch international. Earlier in the summer, it was widely believed he wanted to sign Mario Gotze from Bayern Munich. Now there is a move that made plenty of sense.

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The pair shared a close relationship at Borussia Dortmund with Klopp playing an instrumental role in the diminutive midfielder's early career. A reunion at Liverpool seemed almost poetic but it was not to be.

Gotze rejoined Borussia Dortmund on Thursday morning for a reported fee of £22million, which is £3m cheaper than Liverpool are about to pay for a man who is currently tagged as a Championship player. Meanwhile, Gotze has got that whole 'Scorer of winning World Cup final goal' thing on his CV.

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It seems bizarre that Klopp would champion a man who could not keep the Magpies up to someone he previously put all of his faith into. However, look at the stats, and you start to realise exactly why this decision has been made.

With the help of stats taken from WhoScored, ESPN amongst others, GiveMeSport compares Wijnaldum, a man with just one Eredivisie and two Dutch Cups in his trophy cabinet, with Gotze, one with five Bundesliga titles, three German Cups and one World Cup.

Last season

Gotze's last season at Bayern Munich was undoubtedly the worst of his career. He fell out of favour under Pep Guardiola and made just 11 Bundesliga starts with a further three appearances from the bench. That was enough to earn him a winner's medal and he still managed a respectable three goals and four assists in those games, but his impact as a whole was minimal.

Compare that to Wijnaldum, who played a part in every one of Newcastle's 38 Premier League games and, despite playing for a team who would eventually finish in the bottom three, managed 11 goals and a further five assists. That means he had a hand in 36% of Newcastle's goals, from midfield, playing with team-mates not good enough to stay in the division.

FBL-EUR-C1-BAYERN-MUNICH-BENFICA

Best season

However, Gotze's last campaign may have been an anomaly. He has proven to be a potentially world-class performer during his short career, most notably in the 2012/13 season when he convinced Bayern Munich to fork out over £30m to sign him. In that campaign, he scored 10 goals and assisted a further eight.

Compare that to Wijnaldum, who managed 14 goals and three assists for PSV Eindhoven in the 2014/15 campaign in what was his best return thus far.

Dortmund's midfielder Mario Goetze celeb

Suitability

But undoubtedly the biggest factor on Klopp's mind would have been whether or not Gotze could survive in the rough and tumble of Premier League football. Wijnaldum proved he could scrap it with the biggest with Newcastle last season while the lightweight Gotze is a relatively unknown quantity.

And despite being the same height (176cm), WhoScored reports that Gotze weighs just 64kg, 5kg lighter than his muscular Dutch counterpart. That is the kind of weight that makes the difference when you're facing Ryan Shawcross on one of those famous nights in Stoke.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League

Matter over mind

Essentially, it boils down to a simple question: could Mario Gotze cut it in the Premier League? It is an unanswerable question. There is no question over his quality but he would have to hit the gym in a big way if he was to thrive in England.

The easy argument is to say Gotze has won more and would come with a winner's mentality but that is not necessarily the case. Many of his critics have pointed to his lack of motivation, possibly generated from his early success and oversized medal collection.

Meanwhile, Wijnaldum comes with something to prove. He hasn't already won it all like Gotze. Far from it. While filled with history, no one takes the Eredivisie serious and he is yet to lift a trophy outside of his home country.

He is hungry for success and has already proved a worthy opponent for even the hardiest of Premier League defenders.

Germany Team Celebrates After Winning The 2014 FIFA World Cup

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Topics:
Steven Gerrard
Football
Mario Gotze
Newcastle United
Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge
Borussia Dortmund

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