Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has shared his thoughts on Cody Gakpo’s move to Liverpool.
Speaking on Bij Andy in de Auto, a YouTube show by former professional football player Andy van der Meijde, the former Everton boss claimed the 23-year-old was always going to find the transition to the Premier League difficult.
“And young players who go abroad, such as Gakpo,” says Koeman. “That’s all good, of course, because the level in England is higher than in the Netherlands, but they are also young boys, aren’t they? Like Gravenberch going to Bayern and not playing. Then that is difficult.”
On top of this, the Holland manager adds that Gakpo’s move to Anfield has been made harder by Liverpool’s poor run of form this season.
“You can see that, that he didn’t end up in a team that is running super well,” he said.
“Then it also becomes more difficult for him, as a new purchase. Then you will be tested right away. If you don’t score or you’re not important and you don’t win any matches…
“It’s very difficult, especially for a young player. If that’s someone aged 28 with experience… But he’s a young player, new there.”
Koeman says Gakpo has had a tough time at Liverpool
Since signing for the Reds in January in a deal worth an initial £37m, the Dutchman has been thrown into the deep end.
He has since started every single match in Jurgen Klopp’s XI, having played three times each in both the Premier League and the FA Cup.
Despite these minutes, the attacker is yet to score or assist.
As a result, many pundits have questioned his ability to adapt to English football.
However, these calls have been very premature, and quite unfair. Not having had time to adapt to Klopp’s style by training beforehand, he has also been played out of position; instead of being utilised on the left, he has mainly been used down the middle.
Therefore, while Gakpo’s time on Merseyside may not have gone in the way he would have dreamed it may have, it most certainly hasn’t been a failure.
At 23-years-old, the Netherlands international possesses bags of talent, so only time will allow this to flourish at Anfield.