Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum does not deserve to be one of the top earners at the club, according to former Tottenham striker Darren Bent. Wijnaldum is out of contract at Liverpool at the end of the season and is free to speak to foreign clubs regarding a summer transfer.
Reports claim Wijnaldum wants to stay at Liverpool but would like his wages to be more comparable to the highest-paid players at Anfield.
The Holland star has attracted interest from his former international boss Ronald Koeman at Barcelona.
He has remained a key part of Jurgen Klopp‘s side this season though, starting 15 Premier League matches.
Bent says Wijnaldum deserves a pay increase following his four-and-a-half years at Liverpool.
But he does not think the 30-year-old should be on the same level as the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.
“He’s been very, very good, but no, I’m not putting him on the same wages as Salah, [Sadio] Mane, even [Roberto] Firmino, for that matter,” Bent told Football Insider.
“The likes of Van Dijk, Alisson, [Andy] Robertson, Trent [Alexander-Arnold], no – don’t get me wrong, he’s been good, he’s been very good, especially when they won the Champions League, his role in the team, but to say he wants to be up there with the big earners, no.
“He’s been part of a very successful team and he deserves to be, I guess, in the same building as them guys because he has played well, there have been times, like in the Champions League semi-final, where I thought he was brilliant.
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“But to kind of catapult yourself to where van Dijk is, Alisson, these guys, them two, for instance, changed lives at Liverpool when they came in.
“Trent and Robertson have been absolutely superb and Salah, breaking records, Mane is Mane, for me one of their best players, if not the best player.
“So to say you want to be on the same kind of level as them, I don’t think so, you can’t get away with that.
“He certainly deserves a bigger wage than he’s probably on but to say that he wants to be one of the top earners in the same bracket as them guys, no.”