Liverpool legend Steve Nicol is unsure where Cody Gakpo will fit into manager Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI once he completes his move to Anfield. The Reds have reached an agreement to sign the Dutch striker from PSV Eindhoven for a fee that could reach £50 million with add-ons.
The Merseysiders beat Manchester United to secure his signing, who apparently held an interest in the player since the summer. However, Nicol is skeptical about how this imminent arrival would strengthen Liverpool’s starting XI.
Speaking on ESPN, (h/t @AnfieldWatch), the four-time English first-division winner said:
“I’m not 100 percent sure. Where does he play? He doesn’t play way up high, he doesn’t play in the middle. He’s kind of in between. Where does that fit in with the way Liverpool play?”
Steve Nicol on how Cody Gakpo fits in at Liverpool:
“I’m not 100 per cent sure. Where does he play? He doesn’t play way up high, he doesn’t play in the middle. He’s kind of in between. Where does that fit in with the way Liverpool play?” #lfc [espn via liverpool echo]
The former Reds defender then opined that one of the only ways Gakpo could fit into the team is if he occupies a role akin to Jude Bellingham’s. The England international is a central midfielder by trade who likes to make attacking runs into the box.
Nicol, who spent 13 years as a right-back at Liverpool between 1981 and 1994, continued:
“I’m not so sure it does. Unless they see something and he’s going to play wide of the front three, or else they’re going to sit him back and he’s going to be doing a sort of Jude Bellingham [role] by getting into the box late.”
Gakpo is a versatile attacker who can play anywhere across the frontline. He has been deployed as a centre-forward in recent seasons, registering 21 goals and 25 assists in 41 league games since the start of last season.
Journo reveals Jurgen Klopp’s role in signing Cody Gakpo at Liverpool
Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Klopp asked the club’s board to sign Gakpo following injuries to Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz earlier this season.
The Colombia international could return to action in March after a recent setback in training. The Portuguese forward, meanwhile, may be out for a little over a month with a calf issue.
“Jurgen Klopp has been crucial to complete the signing of Cody Gakpo. Liverpool manager wanted a new winger because of the injuries, the board decided to act quickly.”
Jurgen Klopp has been crucial to complete the signing of Cody Gakpo. Liverpool manager wanted new winger because of the injuries, board decided to act quickly. #LFC
Liverpool were fast and convinced as one year ago with Luis Diaz deal. It’s now done and sealed.
Gakpo is likely to feature in Klopp’s front three on a regular basis alongside Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah until one of Jota and Diaz returns. After that, the Dutch striker could have to fight for a place in the starting XI.
Roberto Firmino (31) and Salah (30) aren’t getting any younger, which makes Gakpo a smart addition, keeping the future in mind. Moreover, the Reds lost two important squad players up front in Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino this summer.
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