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Thread: "Replacing" Wijnaldum - The Aggregate

  1. #1
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    "Replacing" Wijnaldum - The Aggregate

    Okay, right off the bat I want to say that is one of those Sid-talks-about-niche-stuff threads, such as the co-efficient. I have a purpose in mind for it and it isn't to dissect transfer policy, FSG in/out, net spend and so on. Hopefully that can remain largely out of here.

    There was a lot of discussion over the Summer about replacing Gini. Some (myself included) see Thiago as the replacement, having been acquired in anticipation of Gini's departure with a view to slightly evolving our play. Others feel Thiago was an addition to the midfield and that we should replace the outgoing player. I'm not here to debate that, in this thread at least.

    What I am here to look at is our midfielders and the clocking up of appearances - ideally high-performance ones of course - but mainly the numbers.

    In the 20/21 season Wijnaldum played as follows in the two "main" competitions -

    Appearances total(ALL comps) - 51

    Premier League - 38
    Champion's League - 9

    I haven't broken down the League Cup or FA Cup appearances as they tend to be subject to much heavier rotation to include Youth players, plus to be fair Gini made 47 of those 51 appearances in the two "major" tournaments anyway, so they are where the vast majority of the loss is.

    The key figure I am looking at is the 51 appearances - which is a lot and a huge credit to what Gini achieved. So far as I see it, given that Wijnaldum (Thiago debate aside) wasn't replaced during the Summer, we have to "find" those appearances from within the camp.

    We have 8 midfielders* in the squad -

    Fabinho
    Thiago
    Milner
    Keita
    Henderson
    Ox
    Jones
    Elliott

    *given Klopp's recent use of Elliott

    Some of the players will have to outperform last season's appearances quota to make up for the loss of the 51 appearances, but for a few of them, this shouldn't actually prove to be too difficult. 51 divided by 8 works out at 6.3, so we're really looking at getting an average of 6.3 extra appearances out of the players listed below.

    So let's look at the all comps appearances and League appearances for 20/21 from that list -

    Fabinho - 42 - 30
    Thiago - 30 - 24
    Milner - 36 - 26
    Keita - 16 - 10
    Henderson - 28 - 21
    Ox - 17 - 13
    C. Jones - 34 - 24
    Elliott - 0 - 0

    Three games in -

    Elliott (came on as a sub v Norwich, started v Burnley and Chelsea) is already (understandably!) on +3 appearances over last season and looks very likely to reach at least 10 appearances in all comps. Bearing in mind the target is 6.3, he'll almost certainly achieve that and more - and if it is indeed more, it's a few less that must be "found" for another player, such as Fabinho or Milner, who played a lot last season.

    Keita (starts against Norwich and Burnley) has already made 20% of last season's total League appearances (10) and an eight of his total of 16 appearances.

    They're two examples - but you get the idea - being able to "find" these appearances doesn't look at all implausible to me. There are caveats of course - injury luck, suspensions, Covid, some of the appearances might be poor - but we'll see how it plays out.

    Anyway, long+short of it is that this thread will give me a place where I can quickly list/update some of the appearances of our midfielders this season every few games and by the end of the season we'll likely have one source of (rudimentary) data as to how much/little Wijnaldum needs "replacing" in the side come the end of the season, or whether we were "fine" without him.

    Your hobbies are rollerblading and you're also a bit of a rat-hound? Steel Wool
    Sid knows he's crazy and he likes it. Balinkay

  2. #2
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    He's big shoes too fill,especially in the huge games. It's very early days with 7 points out of 9 but I've been hugely impressed with Harvey Elliott but he needs Henderson and Fabinho in the midfield to let him do his thing, IMO.

  3. #3
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    It was Kessie all along. We only brought Thiago in as bait.

    Jeez you guys is slow…

  4. #4
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    Just being pedantic here (sorry) but isn't it the case you could be looking at 51 divided by 6 rather than 8?
    Two of the midfielders are already on the pitch, as we usually have three in midfield.
    The other option is to look at 51 (games) x 3 (midfield positions) / 8 (midfield players available) giving 153 / 8 = 19 games per player.
    Obviously, some players will start more often than others.
    Interesting subject, Sid. Let's hope Jürgen and the coaching staff know what they're doing.

  5. #5
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    Our best 11 imo sees Jota come in for Gini and Bobby keeping his place in the best 11.
    That would imply a variation to the setup in some regards.
    Even in Klopps 433

    Alisson
    Trent Matip VVD Robbo
    Hendo Fabinho Firmino
    Salah Jota Mane

    Ginis departure imo means we are light in the 6/8 position. Tweak the setup and accommodate our best 11 starting.

    An added bonus would be more minutes for the squad players to manage through the season.

    Our more forward minded players getting more minutes as a result of our front 4 starting, reducing the impact of Ginis departure.

  6. #6
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    Bellingham or Pedri will do with Haaland and Doku coming in for Salah, as the club are stalling on giving him his half a mil a week new contract.

    I know everything me, I’m the leading LFC ITK.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by miller0863 View Post
    Bellingham or Pedri will do with Haaland and Doku coming in for Salah, as the club are stalling on giving him his half a mil a week new contract.

    I know everything me, I’m the leading LFC ITK.
    The bbc gossip pages make thee informed

  8. #8
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    They get their info from me

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by miller0863 View Post
    Bellingham or Pedri will do with Haaland and Doku coming in for Salah, as the club are stalling on giving him his half a mil a week new contract.

    I know everything me, I’m the leading LFC ITK.
    Doku has about 10 career goals i'd be fuming if we sold Salah and he was the replacement.

    In saying that he is the most likely out of the 4 names we could get.

    Id say zero chance of Pedri/Haaland and a small chance of Bellingham he will cost £70m plus.

  10. #10
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    All tongue in cheek but Haaland would be the replacement for Salah’s goals

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