James Milner has praised the performance of Liverpool teammate Cody Gakpo against Brighton last weekend.
Gakpo failed to score once again as Liverpool fell to another defeat on the South Coast in the FA Cup. But despite the disappointing result, Milner told liverpoolfc.com that he saw some good things from Gakpo, as well as young Stefan Bajcetic.
“You see people like Stefan coming into the team and doing very well, and it’s important we protect those guys and make sure people like him keep doing what they’re doing. It’s important we keep that positivity,” began the 37-year-old.
“It’s easy to be very down and look at all the negatives when you aren’t getting results you want, but it’s important to highlight things that are good as well. At Brighton, I thought Cody was outstanding. He’s obviously desperate to get on the scoresheet, but I thought his performance in the game was outstanding.
“It’s important that doesn’t get lost because, if you’re not acknowledging the good things you’re doing, it’s going to be hard to get the momentum and the confidence to get on a roll.”
Milner’s right, Gakpo looked sharper and more comfortable against Brighton. But we need goals right now. Cody will be hoping to get on the scoresheet the first time tomorrow against Wolves.
Gakpo settling into new surroundings
Some of the commentary surrounding Gakpo’s move from PSV Eindhoven has been a little bit ridiculous.
Yes, it would have been nice for him to get a goal, but the context is important. The Dutchman has been parachuted into a team and a club in the midst of a mini-crisis.
Playing a new position, with players he’s never met before, it would have been a shock if he had hit the ground running.
Just look at the reaction to how quickly Luis Diaz adapted to Liverpool when he arrived last year. There’s no doubt Diaz was incredible, but the Colombian is the exception that proves the rule.
As Darwin Nunez is also finding, it usually takes a little time to adapt to the Premier League. When the team you’re adapting to are playing as poorly as Liverpool, that’s bound to make things more diffiuclt.
So, Cody should be given a break. He is clearly a very talented and intelligent player. He’ll be growing in stature as the weeks and months go on. A goal this weekend would be wonderful, but even if he doesn’t get it, he’s moving in the right way.
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