Liverpool pulled off a ‘tremendous bit of business’ by bringing in Cody Gakpo during the January window, CBS reporter Ben Jacobs has told GiveMeSport.
The 23-year-old had been in outstanding form for PSV Eindhoven in the 18 months prior to his switch to Anfield, but he has been unable to ʜɪᴛ the ground running in his new environment so far.
Liverpool news – Cody Gakpo
A report from Sky Sports revealed that Liverpool had won the race for Gakpo’s signature and have paid PSV a fee ranging between £35 million and £45 million for his services.
The Netherlands international has penned a contract worth £120,000-per-week until the summer of 2028 after previously being heavily linked with fellow Premier League outfit Manchester United.
Gakpo earned his move to Jurgen Klopp’s charges by registering 21 goals and 15 assists in 47 appearances throughout 2021/22, claiming the Dutch Cup along the way.
And a stunning return of 30 goal contributions in 24 outings in the first half of the current campaign meant Liverpool couldn’t wait until the summer to secure his signature.
However, Klopp will want to see a tangible return on his investment sooner rather than later, especially given his side’s struggles on the pitch this season.
What has Jacobs said about Gakpo?
Jacobs has told GMS that he still believes signing Gakpo was a significant coup for Liverpool and that they managed to sign ‘one of the best players from the World Cup’.
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He said: “We mustn’t forget with Liverpool that they began the window with a £40 million ᴘᴜʀᴄʜᴀsᴇ of Cody Gakpo, which, for January, is a tremendous bit of business.
“And when the window first opened, that fan base and football club was very excited because they felt that they’ve got a jump ahead of Manchester United, who never bid, and brought
in one of the best players from the World Cup.”
How well has Gakpo been playing?
Gakpo has made five appearances to date in a struggling Liverpool side and has so far been unable to score a single goal or provide a solitary assist for his teammates.
And the versatile 6 foot 3 star admitted to being ‘sloppy’ in his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
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“For my own game, I think I showed some good moments and some sloppy moments,” Gakpo said. “So, I can also still improve on those points and keep working and try to help the team as much as I can.”
The best is still surely to come in a Liverpool shirt for Gakpo, but the reigning FA Cup holders need him to adjust sooner rather than later.
Klopp must ditch Fabinho for ‘big future’, he is Liverpool gem
Klopp must now ditch Fabinho for Stefan Bajcetic. Liverpool have been dreadful this season and now face an uphill battle to salvage any shred of positivity from their faltering campaign.
While Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds did complete the initial £35m signing of World Cup star Cody Gakpo right at the start of the January transfer window, they failed to make any further signings or attempt to strengthen their midfield, which has notably been at the core of the struggles this term.
With the Merseyside giants now tenth in the Premier League having played half of their matches, ten points off fourth placed Manchester United albeit with a game in hand, Klopp will be desperate to pump some of his wayward team’s former potency back into the system.
The standards of many of Liverpool’s star players have discernibly plummeted in recent months, but perhaps none have had so drastic a drop-off as holding midfielder Fabinho, who has been an integral cog in the once formidable and fluid Anfield machine.
Signing from AS Monaco for £43.7m in 2018, the 29-year-old has made 199 appearances for the Reds, scoring 11 goals and providing eight assists. He has so often been the sturdy anchor and the foundation from which his forward-thinking team-mates can flourish and suffocate opposition with the relentless intensity of their play, all neatly held together by the glue of his aura on the pitch.
With the 29-cap Brazilian’s arrival in English football coinciding with his team’s most prosperous period under the German, notably winning the Premier League and the Champions League among a multitude of other honours, the resounding impact of his work has been felt.
This year, however it has indeed crumbled to dust. The £180k-per-week midfielder’s 6.86 Sofascore rating in the league is his lowest across five campaigns for Liverpool, with journalist Chris Stonadge stating that the 29-year-old has “fallen, dramatically, off a proverbial cliff“, such is his overwhelming decline.
Liverpool’s saving grace comes in the form of 18-year-old sensation Stefan Bajcetic, who has emphatically announced himself on the big stage and stepped in to provide an energy and movement which had frequently been absent from the Reds’ midfield, with Klopp heralding him as “exceptional“.
Liverpool writer Leanne Prescott recently remarked on the teenager’s rise, saying: “Staggering that Liverpool look most in control this season when 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic is playing.”
The starlet, who has made 11 appearances across all competitions and already scored his first goal – which cemented an invaluable 3-1 away win at Aston Villa in December, is clearly blossoming into a force in Klopp’s team.
Outperforming his established positional peer with an average Sofascore rating of 6.92 this season, it might be time for the manager to finally ditch the beleaguered Fabinho and trust in Bajcetic instead.
While the young Spaniard has displayed his progressive prowess by completing 67% of his dribbles and losing possession only 4.3 times per match; Fabinho has succeeded with just 33% of his dribbles and conceded possession 7.1 times per game.
Bajcetic is a man with a “big future” at Anfield, according to The Athletic’s James Pearce, and he must continue to be entrusted with a starting berth as Klopp desperately seeks to stabilise the ship and forge a pathway back towards the top four for Liverpool.