Liverpool believe that Teun Koopmeiners will replace Wijnaldum

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Liverpool have been linked with AZ Alkmaar and the new Dutch international Teun Koopmeiners as a possible replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum.

Wijnaldum is in the last three months of his Liverpool contract, has not seen close to signing a new one and will be able to leave as a free agent when it expires in June.

Georginio Wijnaldum loses his Liverpool contract and will probably leave more and more as a free agent this summer Fran Santiago / Getty Images

The 30-year-old, who was bought for 25 million pounds from Newcastle in 2016, has been dropped heavily to join Barcelona on a free transfer, which would mean reuniting with former Dutch coach Ronald Koeman.

With Wijnaldum’s departure increasingly likely, Liverpool will soon have a void to fill in midfield and Koopmeiners is a name that is now coming up.

AS reports that Liverpool is the latest club to show interest in him and is seen as an “ideal candidate” to compensate for the loss of compatriot Wijnaldum this summer.

However, there has already been interest in his services from Roma, Napoli, Inter and Sevilla.

Koopmeiners could cost 20 million euros (£ 17.4 million) ANP Sport / Getty Images

Koopmeiners can cost around 20 million euros (17.4 million pounds) and has even been compared in some parts to Real Madrid and Germany veteran Toni Kroos due to his passing.

He is still only 23 but is already the AZ captain, after joining the club at the age of 11 and advancing through his youth to the first team. He made his senior debut in 2017 as a teenager and has been a regular ever since.

Koopmeiners also made his Dutch debut in 2020 in October and was called up under all three international squads in the autumn, although he missed last month to play in the first part of the European Championships in the 21st final instead.

Koopmeiners is usually a defensive midfielder, whose presence in Liverpool could allow Thiago to have a freer role in the future, but his goal statistics are impressive due to his role as a penalty shooter in AZ – he is also good on a free kick.

Seven of his 15 Eredivisie goals this season have come from the penalty spot. He has also made two direct free kicks, although that means there have still been six goals from open play.

It should also be noted that Wijnaldum has generally not been a goal-scorer midfielder for Liverpool, and although they may not be exactly the same type of player, Koopmeiners can fit well into what will soon be a red team developing.

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