Liverpool couldn't find a better Gini Wijnaldum replacement that Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse, according to BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks.
Dutch international Wijnaldum seems certain to leave the Reds this summer after five years at the club, with talks over extending his current deal having been at an impasse for some time.
The former Newcastle midfielder is still on the existing five-year deal he signed when he joined from the Magpies in 2016, with Liverpool's failure to secure an extension for a player who was a key part of their Champions League and Premier League winning sides coming as a surprise to many.
Barcelona have long been favourites to sign Wijnaldum on a free transfer this summer, with Inter Milan also said to be expressing an interest.
And Crooks thinks that the Reds could pick up the perfect replacement in Saints skipper Ward-Prowse, who scored a penalty in their 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
"I am convinced Southampton would be in serious trouble were it not for James Ward-Prowse," Crooks wrote in his BBC Sport team of the week column.
“We know he can take a free-kick and that he is capable of covering the ground, but he also has a superb temperament.
“The Saints had no-one better to take their penalty under their current circumstances. His contribution against Sheffield United thereafter was immense.
“It’s clear Georginio Wijnaldum is almost certain to leave Liverpool at the end of the season for Barcelona.
"I can’t think of a better replacement than Ward-Prowse.”
Having previously regularly raiding Southampton for players, Liverpool haven't signed a player from the Saints since Virgil van Dijk's move in January 2018.
More recently there have been players going the other way, with Danny Ings and Takumi Minamino both leaving Anfield for the south coast on loan deals, with Ings' move later becoming permanent.
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