The Dutch striker was the best player in the 7-0 ‘ᴅᴇsᴛʀᴏʏ’ of Man United, thereby confirming that Liverpool is the right destination for him.
Returning to the transfer market in January 2023, Liverpool sᴜʀᴘʀɪsᴇᴅ the village by completing the signature of Cody Gakpo for a fee of £ 45 million in just a few short days.
The reason, the Dutch striker has been closely linked with a move to Man United before. Gakpo’s sᴜᴅᴅᴇɴ’turn’ made the Red Devils fans think that he chose the wrong stop. Even during a difficult time in his early days at Anfield, many people mocked Gakpo for making the worst decision of his career.
Liverpool FC — Liverpool reach agreement for Cody Gakpo transfer
Gakpo’s decision to join Liverpool made Man United fans unhappy.
The Man United legend, Gakpo’s former coach at PSV also ʀᴇᴠᴇᴀʟᴇᴅ that Gakpo ignored his advice to join Liverpool:
“Gakpo’s dream is to play for Man United. He has been in contact with Erik ten Hag since August last year and of course, I also hope he joins Man United. Not only because it’s my old club but also because Man United is outperforming Liverpool this season and that’s where there are always opportunities for young players.
“Since Man United did not make an offer in January, I advised Gakpo to wait until the summer. He listened to Virgil van Dijk instead of me. Gakpo could have scored thanks to a great midfield like Bruno Fernandes, Casemiro, and Christian Eriksen.”
Gakpo ‘would be scoring for Man Utd’ as PSV boss hints Liverpool man regrets snubbing ‘dream club’
Van Nistelrooy admits he couldn’t stop Gakpo from joining the Merseyside team.
However, in the match against Man United on Sunday, Gakpo dispelled all previous insults with a dazzling performance that helped Liverpool crush Man United with 7 goals.
In 79 minutes on the field, the striker born in 1999 owned 2 shots on target, thereby bringing 2 goals for the home team. Besides, Gakpo also showed impressive pressing ability with 8 wins in disputes and 1 successful tackle.
Liverpool nails historic 7-0 rout of Man Utd | The Manila Times
Not only participating in the ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ, Gakpo also helps his teammates in recovering the ball.
In ꜰᴀᴄᴛ, every parameter is not even the clearest measure to evaluate what Gakpo has shown on the field. Gakpo’s advantage lies in the ability to move without the ball intelligently. It was Gakpo’s running situation on the left wing that completely unlocked Man United’s defense in the first goal.
Entering the second half, Gakpo was arranged to rotate positions with Darwin Nunez to disturb the United defense with his moves. It can be seen, how helpless Casemiro was in front of a Cody Gakpo who constantly ‘messed up’ and then what had to happen had to come, Man United broke down and consecutive goals came as an inevitable consequence.
Besides contributing to bringing back 3 valuable points to help Liverpool climb to 5th place in the rankings, Gakpo also proves that he is the perfect piece for Jurgen Klopp to put into the football philosophy he is building at Anfield.
Jamie Carragher: Cody Gakpo brilliant against Man Utd and Liverpool’s new front three shows signs of blossoming
Beside Gakpo, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez scored twice each in the historic triumph over Erik ten Hag’s side at Anfield as Liverpool boosted their top-four prospects in stunning style.
Jurgen Klopp’s side came into the game having only won four of their last 12 games in all competitions, with their new-look ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ struggling to gel for much of the campaign.
The chemistry Nunez, Salah, and January signing Gakpo are developing, according to Carragher, as Liverpool works to create a front three to compete with their previous trio of Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino. However, Carragher believes Sunday’s devastating performance highlights this chemistry.
“On the back of the announcement of Roberto Firmino not being at the club next season, Sadio Mane moving on at the start of the season, and Liverpool just not being at the races for a lot of this season, it felt nice to see Gakpo, Nunez and Salah – still with [Luis] Diaz to come back and [Diogo] Jota on the bench – and what could be the makings of a new front three,” said Carragher.
“Will it ever get to that level [of the previous front three]? We don’t know. But let’s not forget Manchester United are top-quality opposition. Going into this game, probably one of the most in-form teams in Europe.
“So, for your ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ players to be that devastating on the day and score that amount of goals I think bodes well for the future, in terms of Liverpool getting back to their old selves, taking teams apart and scoring goals.”
“He has been getting goals but this was a brilliant performance,” he said of Gakpo. “What I would sᴀʏ about Gakpo and Harvey Elliott is that they were the two positions that were up for grabs.
“I’ll be honest with you, I ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ Jota to play instead of Gakpo, because I thought he’d be better at pressing from the front, and that Liverpool could win the ball back there. And I thought [Stefan] Bajcetic had been performing better than Elliott, so I was a bit sᴜʀᴘʀɪsᴇᴅ.
“But I think Jurgen Klopp got it right. Tactically, it was fantastic and the role of Gakpo and Harvey Elliott was key in that.
Carragher showed how Gakpo was used as part of a midfield four, as Liverpool outnumbered Man Utd, leaving the Dutchman free to <span style=’background: gold;’>attack</span> from deep
Carragher demonstrated how Gakpo was used as a member of a midfield four, allowing the Dutchman to ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ from deep.
“We know Manchester United go man to man. Fred is with [Jordan] Henderson. [Wout] Weghorst’s job is to look after Fabinho, that’s why he played No 10, and Casemiro’s job is to look after Harvey Elliott.
“But what Liverpool did was they had a set-up that was almost like a diamond, or a box, and it was, ‘Who’s going to pick up Gakpo?’
“I think Jurgen Klopp did this because they go man-for-man. The idea was to get Gakpo and Elliott in the half-spaces, as Jurgen Klopp speaks about so often.”
Carragher showed how Liverpool succeeded in stretching Man Utd’s midfield, creating space and leaving Gakpo unmarked
Carragher demonstrated how Liverpool was able to weaken Man Utd’s midfield, create space, and leave Gakpo unattended.
Gakpo and Elliott’s positioning ensured Manchester United’s midfield two of Casemiro and Fred became stretched, explained Carragher.
“What that did was, it created a huge space and gulf in that Manchester United midfield,” he added. “The two central midfield players were 27 yards apart.
“And who is with Gakpo? Nobody. Gakpo can pick it up in the half-space with no one with him. The deployment of Gakpo from Jurgen Klopp was fantastic.”