Georginio Wijnaldum might not be the first name you’d expect to be talked about when the discussion is about Liverpool’s key players ahead of the UEFA Champions League final. Especially when the Reds' roster boasts of names such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio mane, Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Roberto Firmino.
But the Netherlands international has proved that he can perform in crunch moments on multiple occasions this season.
Wijnaldum scored a brace against Barcelona in the return leg of the Champions League semi-final after coming off the bench. His goals played a massive part in sending the Catalans packing and sealing a historic come-back for his side.
1-0 up at half-time, the Reds required at least two goals in the second half to stay alive in the competition and substitute Wijnaldum provided just that. The midfielder scored in the 54th minute after he got in the way of a deflected cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold and slotted it home past a hapless Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Just two minutes later, Wijnaldum made the best of a sleeping Barcelona defence to nod home Xherdan Shaqiri’s perfect cross to level the aggregate scores, leaving ter Stegen wrong-footed.
The 28-year-old was directly involved in just the two goals in Liverpool’s European campaign this season, but it could prove to be two of the most vital goals this season.
As a starter or not, Wijnaldum could make the front-pages with a stellar performance in the finals.