Cody Gakpo is a goal scorer, record assists and a risk-taker good enough to go straight into Liverpool’s first-team when he arrives in January.
That’s according to European football journalist Andy Brassell, who has compared the Reds’ new signing to Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes and says Gakpo’s move to Anfield is another example of why Liverpool are the best in the business at getting deals done.
PSV have announced they have reached an agreement with Liverpool over a deal for their club captain, 23-year-old Netherlands international Gakpo.
It is claimed he will sign a six-year contract with the Merseysiders, who are reported to have paid an initial £37million plus a potential £13m in add-ons – a bit of a bargain for one of his country’s top young talents.
Gakpo has enjoyed tremendous success on the wing for PSV, scoring 55 goals and recording 50 assists in 159 senior appearances for the club – including 13 goals and 17 assists in 24 games this season.
But the World Cup saw him play in a more central position in Dutch Oranje, with his three goals in Qatar proving his versatility across the front line.
That versatility will surely be a key reason why he was wanted by Jurgen Klopp, and Brassell says he is a readymade signing who can slot straight into the Reds’ XI.
“The interesting thing about Gakpo announcing himself to the wider world is we already knew he could do the Memphis Depay thing from when he was at PSV, cutting in from the left wing, scoring and creating,” he told White and Jordan on talkSPORT.
“But what we saw from the World Cup that people maybe hadn’t noticed before is that he was taking up more central positions for the Netherlands, who are very direct. We saw him scoring some great headed goals as well, so I think there are a lot of aspects of his game to recommend him to Premier League clubs.
“When you look at his form for PSV over the last few years, which has been exceptional, it’s mainly coming from that left hand side, so his immediate future at Liverpool would seemingly be as a de-facto replacement for Luis Diaz, who is obviously injured for the foreseeable.
“He can go straight into that Liverpool team. He’s been playing at a very high level for a long time now.”
Brassell says one element of Gakpo’s play reminds him of United star Fernandes, saying his assists will be as valuable to Liverpool as his superb goal-rate.
“He’s been improving steadily and it’s not just about the goals he scores, it’s about the goals he creates as well,” he said.
“He’s got a pretty good shot-to-goal ratio, so he’s not somebody who looks to take the glory and go for goal all the time.
“But he will attempt risky passes to try and make something come off – a little bit like Bruno Fernandes.
“They’re obviously different players, but I think people looked at Fernandes and thought he was a bit loose with the ball when he arrived at Manchester United, but it’s just that he wants to dare to try stuff, and I feel the same thing about Cody Gakpo.
“It’s a great move and he’s earned it. He’s worked really hard to become a top player with PSV who have done really well to make it difficult for Ajax over the last few years, and he’s been a huge part of that.”
Liverpool’s swoop came as a bit of a surprise on Boxing Day, following weeks of weeks of links to a move to Man United.
But Brassell admits he’s not surprised the Reds were able to trump their rivals so quickly.
He added: “There was interest from a lot of Premier League clubs before the World Cup – Leeds were close to signing him in the summer, and then that window came and went, Manchester United have been interested in him for a long time, but now Liverpool have swooped in.
“He would have accepted that move to Leeds if it had been agreed at the end of last summer, but now he’s going to be playing for a Champions League contender – it’s a brilliant opportunity for him.
“It’s typical of Manchester United in recent years and the difference between the way they and Liverpool do their transfer business.
“With United there’s a lot of smoke, there’s a lot of noise, and it takes them ages to get there.
“Whereas Liverpool research players meticulously, they have their list, and then they get it done. There’s a very small lag between speculation and the deal actually being over the line, and that’s what they’ve been so impressive at.
“Liverpool in the transfer market are as good as it gets it terms of the Premier League.”
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