Alan Shearer explains why Georginio Wijnaldum isn't getting enough credit at Liverpool

Wijnaldum played an understated but vital role vs Arsenal

By Thursday evening, Liverpool may have taken a giant leap towards the Premier League title. 

The Reds' trip to Manchester City represents the greatest test of their title credentials so far.

It will also provide an opportunity for Jurgen Klopp's to show just how far they have come at a ground where they were thumped 5-0 just 15 months ago. 

While only a fool would write City off, nobody is predicting a similar scoreline this time around. 

Liverpool are the only Premier League side yet to lose a game and they continued their sensational form with a resounding 5-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday. 

Roberto Firmino starred, as he does so often against the Gunners, with a hat-trick, sandwiching goals from Sadio Mane and Mo Salah. 

Virgil van Dijk also won praise for his role in restricting Arsenal's usually formidable attack; indeed, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could muster just 13 touches all game. 

However, one man whose performance is gradually gaining more attention is Georginio Wijnaldum. 

Shearer heaps praise on Gini 

The 28-year-old has featured in all but one of Liverpool's league games this season and he was at his best at Anfield, shielding the defence superbly and providing a vital link between the midfield and the front four. 

Alan Shearer has been keen to point out the importance of the Dutch international's role - and he believes it's only because the likes of Van Dijk and Salah attract so much praise that Wijnaldum continues to fly under the radar. 

An under-strength Arsenal were dominated by Wijnaldum

"One player who will be key for Liverpool is Gini Wijnaldum," Shearer writes in his column for The Sun.

"He doesn’t get as much praise as he should, which is understandable given their forwards and how good Virgil van Dijk has been.

"But Wijnaldum has been absolutely sensational — bossing the midfield in every game I have seen. He is to Liverpool what Brazilian Fernandinho is to City.

"It was noticeable how Klopp took him off once the game was won on Saturday to give him a breather."

Wijnaldum's highlights vs Arsenal 

Wijnaldum's highlights reel from the Arsenal game illustrate just what an important part he is of this Liverpool side - it's not always glamorous, but without him his team-mates would be left exposed. 

As Shearer points out, it's no coincidence that Adam Lallana was brought on in his place with 12 minutes remaining as Klopp will have had one eye on Thursday's encounter with City. 

"I know Roberto Firmino got his hat-trick but Wijnaldum in that midfield totally bossed it. They couldn't get near him," Shearer added on Match of the Day, per the Express. 

"I think he's the first name on the teamsheet."

Where does Wijnaldum rank among Liverpool's stars this season? Have your say in the comments. 

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