Cody Gakpo: Best position named as Dutch legend declares Liverpool transfer ‘right choice’ but predicts ‘fight’ with existing favourite

Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo

Liverpool have learned exactly how they should be using Cody Gakpo after his transfer from PSV Eindhoven, which is deemed to be the right decision by a Dutch legend.

Gakpo will become Liverpool’s first signing of the January transfer window after they agreed a deal with PSV. The Dutch forward had been a top target for Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, but is now ready to ply his trade at Anfield instead.

PSV announced an agreement with Liverpool over the transfer fee on Boxing Day, before all the final details were ticked off and the Premier League side confirmed on Wednesday that Gakpo was about to become a member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

Klopp will already be thinking about how he will be able to use Gakpo in relation to the options he already has at his disposal. All of his 24 appearances this season have come as a left winger.

He has been effective from there, contributing 13 goals and 17 assists in all competitions. However, there had been a feeling that if he had gone to Man Utd instead, he may have been converted into a centre-forward.

Now, Gakpo will have to fight for his place among a star-studded Liverpool attack that also consists of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

Since Diaz is currently out injured, it seems most likely that Gakpo will take his place on the left-hand side of the Liverpool attack.

And that is exactly where the 23-year-old should be playing, according to former Netherlands international Ronald De Boer.

Speaking to talkSPORT, De Boer said: “I think it’s important for him, he’s better when he starts on the left and comes inside.


Cody Gakpo not an out-and-out striker but has huge potential

“I think Liverpool plays a little bit like that, I remember Diaz playing there, who is also by the way an exceptional talent.

“So when he is fit he will have to fight for that spot. In the meanwhile, he [Gakpo] can grow in that role, I think Liverpool needs a player like that on that side at the moment.

“I think for me, this is the best choice he could have made at this moment.”

The question of whether he can play up front will still linger while Nunez takes his time to adapt to the Premier League after his own transfer to the club, from Benfica back in the summer.

But according to De Boer, Gakpo should only be used more centrally as a supporting option, rather than the main man.

The 52-year-old explained: “I think he can play as a No. 9, but with two strikers.

“Not a typical No. 9 like [Robert] Lewandowski, I don’t think he’s that kind of type.

“But if you play with two up top, then he can play as an attacking No. 10, he can play that role really well, he did it of course at the World Cup where he showed his class.

“With two strikers he can be very efficient, he knows where to run, he knows to go behind the defenders and he has the speed.

Gakpo tipped to excel at Liverpool

“He will also get a little bit quicker and more physical, that will come in the years of playing in the Premier League, he will adapt quickly.

“I think he will only get better, and from my point of view, he made the right choice.”

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Liverpool will be only the second club Gakpo has ever represented after coming through the ranks with PSV. He will be hoping to make a success of his new venture, and Klopp will have to play a part in allowing him to maximise his potential.

According to De Boer, Gakpo can reach even higher levels than he has done so far. It makes him quite the exciting prospect to be arriving at Anfield.

De Boer claimed: “I’ve seen him now for a couple of years already, he has great potential.

“He has the ability to score easily with his right foot coming in from the left to the right, he has the speed, the dribbling and I think his mind is also very good.

“When I see him and when he talks on television, he looks to be a very clever boy, he knows what he wants, he still has a lot of potential to grow to be an even better player.

“His potential for me, he’s one of the biggest talents in Holland.”

Soon, Gakpo will be expressing his talents outside his homeland – and Liverpool will be the ones to benefit.

READ MORE – Roberto Firmino future: Liverpool learn star’s fate as chances of move to childhood club are assessed