Why Georginio Wijnaldum's just like Luka Modric – and can be 'catalyst' for Newcastle revival

Georginio Wijnaldum
Georginio Wijnaldum

Georginio Wijnaldum has been likened to Luka Modric by former Newcastle United midfielder Jermaine Jenas.

Wijnaldum took his goal tally for the season to seven in Sunday's 2-0 win over Liverpool.

The victory eased the pressure on Steve McClaren, the relegation-threatened club's head coach.

And Jenas has hailed Wijnaldum's performance ahead of Sunday's game against Tottenham Hotspur, the club he joined when he left Newcastle in 2005.

Writing for Yahoo Sports UK, Jenas said: "What I love most about (Wijnaldum) is the amount of responsibility he takes in that team.

"He’s always available for the ball and prepared to receive it in tough areas. He doesn’t just want the ball when he has space, he will take it anytime, anywhere.

"The only other player I’ve come across like that in my career is Luka Modric when we played together at Tottenham.

"I’m not saying Wijnaldum is as good as Modric – not many players are – but they both have something within them. A mentality of ‘just give me the ball – whenever’.

"In Modric’s case, he didn’t care whether he was in space, or in his most comfortable position, or even whether he was being marked touch-tight, he would still want the ball.

"He knew he was strong enough, skilful enough and quick enough to get out of any situation. And that’s exactly what Wijnaldum is like.

"He’s strong as an ox and he has great ability on the ball, plus he can score goals.

"You expect a player who cost £14.7million to have quality, but you don’t necessarily expect the character he has shown in a struggling team.

"That’s what can make him the catalyst for their revival."

Modric, now at Real Madrid, came close to joining Newcastle in 2008 before signing for Tottenham.