Five things to know: Giliano Wijnaldum

He’s worked with Earnie Stewart before

Although he originally started in the academy for Sparta Rotterdam, Wijnaldum moved to AZ’s academy and made his first team debut under Stewart in the 2010-11 season. He played for AZ while Stewart was at the club for a total of three seasons.

He’s a Dutch Cup champion

Wijnaldum’s first topflight trophy came while with Stewart’s AZ club in 2012-13, when he helped his team win the KNVB Cup. The leftback started the final, playing all 90 minutes in a 2-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven

He’s been teammates with some United States Men’s National Team players

While with AZ, Wijnaldum laced up the boots alongside Toronto FC’s Jozy Altidore as well as fellow USMNT forward Aron Johansson

He’s part of a family of footballers

You may also know Giliano’s brother, Liverpool and former Newcastle midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. His half brother, Rajiv van la Parra, also plays in England, for Championship side Huddersfield Town.

He has international experience at the youth level

Wijnaldum has made appearances across the Netherlands’ youth system, most recently for the Under-20s. He scored his first international goal on June 1, 2012 in a friendly against France.


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