The Philadelphia Union acquired left-back Giliano Wijnaldum — the little brother of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum — as a discovery signing on Thursday.
Reds fans could be excused for going into a frenzy after believing one of their top performers had defected in the January transfer window — to an MLS club.
The defender previously played for Union sporting director Earnie Stewart when the former U.S. international held the same position at AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands.
OFFICIAL: Philadelphia Union Sign Defender Giliano Wijnaldum
— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) January 5, 2017
“We’re pleased to welcome Giliano to Philadelphia Union and are excited about the talent he adds to our defensive corps,” Stewart said in a statement. “As a young player who I have worked with before in the Netherlands, I know firsthand the potential he brings to our club. We are eager to integrate him within the squad and believe he has a bright future with the Union.”
Wijnaldum is, of course, the younger brother of in-form Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who surely isn’t making a move to the MLS any time soon.
That said, a Liverpool fan glancing over the news could easily have been fooled into believing one of the all time bizarre player signings had taken place.
@PhilaUnion my heart dropped for a minute there
— Lonis (@sxric) January 5, 2017
— Curtis Washburn (@CurtisWashburn2) January 5, 2017
— Jake Macdermid (@JakeMacdermid) January 5, 2017
— Joe Holdsworth (@Joe_Holdsworth2) January 5, 2017