August 5, 2021

Wijnaldum: ‘He’s a modern midfielder’ – Okocha in awe of North Macedonia-slaying PSG star

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The African football great was very impressed the Dutch international’s stellar display against the Lions

Georginio Wijnaldum is a “modern midfield player” according to former Nigeria international Jay-Jay Okocha, who claims he has been outstanding for the Netherlands at Euro 2020.

A second-half double from the newly acquired Paris Saint-Germain man powered Frank de Boer’s Oranje to a 3-0 victory over North Macedonia on Monday evening.

Memphis Depay had given the Dutch team a slim advantage at half-time before the 30-year-old cemented the win with a brace at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

That puts him ahead of Marco van Basten, who scored 24 in 58 matches, in the list of top scorers for the Netherlands and on level terms with Rafael van der Vaart, who finished his international career with 25 from 109 caps.

Aside from his goals, Wijnaldum was the architect for the 1988 European champions, to the delight of the African football great who waxed lyrical about his performance on live television.

“He has been outstanding for this Dutch team, the captain of the team who stirs his team forward,” Okocha said on SuperSport TV.

“And he contributes a lot defending. He is a very disciplined player and a modern midfield player – we are talking about players that could go box to box – he is one of them.

“He scores goals and keeps good shape for the team. He protects the back four also. So, he is a very good player.”

Following the expiration of his contract at Premier League side Liverpool, the Dutchman moved to Parc des Princes on a three-year deal.

To Okocha, the former Feyenoord, PSV and Newcastle United midfielder is playing well as a result of sorting out his professional football, while hoping he helps the Ligue 1 giants land the Champions League diadem.

“I hope so. Well, it’s my former team and I’m a big fan of PSG,” he continued.

“I love the fact that the club is ambitious, and they are progressing.

“He looks as if he has got the pressure off his shoulders and he is playing with a lot more freedom.”

The Ligue 1 outfit already boasts of Marco Verratti, Idrissa Gueye, Leandro Paredes and Ander Herrera in the middle of the park.

However, as a more traditional box-to-box midfielder Wijnaldum is capable of adding a new dimension to the squad.