BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 26: Georginio Wijnaldum of Netherlands looks on during the Netherlands Training Session ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Round of 16 match between Netherlands and Czech Republic at Puskas Arena on June 26, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (UEFA)

Gini Wijnaldum criticised for PSG start – having “great difficulty” after LFC exit

Gini Wijnaldum has been criticised in the French media for a “very disappointing” start to life at Paris Saint-Germain, following their 1-1 draw with Club Brugge.

Wijnaldum was reunited with a former team-mate on Wednesday night as he and Simon Mignolet faced off in the Champions League, with Club Brugge hosting PSG.

The game saw the first time Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have started together, with Messi making his full debut for the Ligue 1 club, in a side littered with stars.

But despite being so strong they were able to bring the likes of Julian Draxler and Mauro Icardi off the bench, PSG were held to a 1-1 draw as Hans Vanaken cancelled out Ander Herrera’s opener.

Messi hit the woodwork in the first half and was jeered by the Club Brugge fans as Mignolet beat away another effort after the break, with the visitors left frustrated.

Wijnaldum made his fifth start for his new club, alongside Herrera and Leandro Paredes, but was substituted at half-time, with L’Equipe rating him as the worst player on the pitch.

As relayed by Sport Witness, the French newspaper described the 30-year-old as “very disappointing,” noting in particular how he was unable to help PSG “get out of [Club Brugge’s] pressing.”

That comes as a surprise, given that was Wijnaldum’s best asset while at Liverpool, with things seemingly not going to plan for the midfielder so far.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 14, 2021: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum speaks to LFC.TV after the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and Real Madird CF at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

L’Equipe went on to assess the former Reds No. 5’s impact so far as a “real disappointment,” labelling him mediocre “at best” and explaining that he has faced “great difficulty” in winning his duels.

It would be wrong to take this as gospel, but Wijnaldum has clearly not made the best start to life at the Parc des Princes.

Prior to the trip to Bruges, Wijnaldum told L’Equipe that Liverpool had not given him “the feeling of wanting to keep him,” in talks over a contract extension, while also claiming Barcelona were the “club of his dreams.”

“Barcelona came. I was really happy because, since I was a child, as for the majority of Dutch players, it was the club of my dreams even if I must admit that my idol was Zinedine Zidane,” he said.

“I had a good idea to commit to Barca. But the negotiations lasted a very long time and Paris came in.

“Unlike six years earlier, the club showed me their desire to recruit me. It was time for me to have something else.”