HomeViews and OpinionsThe Cody Gakpo Conundrum

The Cody Gakpo Conundrum

When Liverpool signed Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven in January 2023, I thought it was potentially excellent signing.

He was versatile up front, scoring and assisting apparently at will for club and country. He was young at 23, and was the sort of player that Jurgen Klopp would only improve.

While not possessing Bobby Firmino’s great technique, he had the ability to drop deep and link midfield and attack. I was actually pretty excited.

He initially looked pretty good. He kept the ball really well,and was particular good at taking the ball on the half turn and driving forward before releasing the ball, generally making the right decisions.

Rather than improve his game, it seems to have deteriorated in recent weeks. I’m not sure what he brought to the team on Sunday against Man Utd. He repeatedly made very poor decisions, and didn’t seem to have the energy or pace to get into the attacking situations we wanted him to. It didn’t make it any easier to watch knowing that he was replacing Mohamed Salah. Salah might not have been at his brilliant best, but you always know you have a chance with him on the pitch. It didn’t help of course that the whole team had played on Thursday night when the tie against Sparta Prague was already well won, but that’s for discussion elsewhere.

So what do we think of Gakpo, and where do you think he’ll end up playing? It’s hard to believe that he won’t regain some form, but my feeling is that with all the squad getting fitter, his opportunities will be limited.

There’s going to be plenty of options in midfield from the bench; I think we’ll generally start with Wataru Endo, Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai. Harvey Elliott we know can impact games, and Curtis Jones will hopefully soon be available. Ryan Gravenberch was starting to improve, and we also know that Bobby Clark can do a decent job. If JK decides that Conor Bradley plays right-back and Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield, there’s even less opportunity in the middle of the park,

Up front, obviously Mo Salah plays and two from Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez, with the one not chosen ready on the bench.

I’m really not sure Cody Gakpo has an individual skillset that we’d key into ahead of others. What does anyone else think? Am I being harsh? Thoughts please!

If you like Dr Andy Hershon’s writing, check out his book – 15 Minutes With You: Tips on Medical Consulation and Other Musings

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