Darren Bent has questioned why Liverpool did not cash in on Georginio Wijnaldum before Monday’s deadline after he rejected a new contract at Anfield.
The former Premier League and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the 31-year-old “clearly wants to move on” as he heads into the final months of his current deal with the club.
As revealed by Football Insider last month, the Netherlands international has turned down at least one contract offer at Anfield after months of negotiations on Merseyside.
The international transfer window closed on Monday night, meaning Wijnaldum will be able to sign a pre-contract with a foreign side when the winter market opens at the turn of the year.
Bent admits he thought the arrival of Thiago Alcantara at Liverpool would have triggered a move for the Dutch star and has revealed his doubts over the club’s transfer plans.
Bent told Football Insider: “It’s a weird situation this because I thought when Thiago came in I thought: ‘Ooh, he must be off then,’ but he’s still there.
“We still don’t know what is going on. He’s still got great quality, he’s an absolute folk hero with the Liverpool fans with some of the goals he’s come up with in big games.
“He clearly wants to move on, he’s not signed a new contract, so you’d have to say why didn’t they get a deal done sooner rather than later? He’s been an outstanding servant for Liverpool and he’s a top, top player.
“You’d like to see him go somewhere else now. If he’s not going to sign the new contract then get what you can for him but sometimes it’s a bit difficult to do that.”
Wijnaldum has played 192 times and scored 19 goals for Liverpool since his move from Newcastle United back in 2016.
He has been an ever-present in the Premier League for the Reds this season and also featured as a substitute in the League Cup defeat to Arsenal.
In other Liverpool news, Bent has been left raving after first-team exit confirmed at Anfield.