Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has claimed that both Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo have improved in training recently.
The two forwards have found the going a little tough since arriving at Anfield in the last 10 months. But according to Robertson, they’re showing signs that they’ll end up being top players for Liverpool.
“Darwin and Cody have come in during a difficult season but I think both have adapted relatively well. Cody has obviously had a shorter time than Darwin and they’re both trying to find their feet in the Premier League, which does take time,” the 28-year-old told Liverpool’s matchday programme via the Liverpool Echo. “They’re both young, they’re both improving all the time on the training pitch and I think the longer we have them the better they’ll become.
“That’s obviously the aim when you sign these kinds of players. So I think they have made a big impact already but I think the impact in the future will be bigger. We’re excited by how good they can become. Darwin doesn’t speak much English but is a character and Cody is a really clever player. He’s really intelligent and we’d seen that before he signed for us and since he signed for us. He came in a difficult moment in January when things weren’t great and we couldn’t quite get results so it must have been hard for him to settle but off the field, he settled in really well and is a big part of the changing room already.
“It always helps when you’re settled off the field as it gives you the best chance to settle on the field and I think some of his performances have been excellent. So yes, we’re looking for more from them and we’re looking for more from everyone.
“Like I said, we all need to step up and Cody and Darwin are no different. If we want to get where we want to be then we need to be the best version of ourselves from now until the end of the season.”
Gakpo and Nunez give us reason to be excited
In a desperately disappointing season for Liverpool, Nunez and Gakpo have been two of the brighter spots. Looking ahead to next season, the pair’s progression is giving Reds supporters reason to be excited. Certainly, the hope will be that they can both show a bit more than they have so far. And the signs are there that they will.
Having come in at such a difficult moment, Gakpo has started to find his feet. The goals haven’t come as freely as they perhaps might, but his performances have been really encouraging. The Dutchman seems to have settled in his ‘false 9’ role and once he’s had even more time, you can see him becoming a star at Anfield.
Nunez on the other hand is a little more complicated. In parts of the season the 23-year-old has been Liverpool best, or certainly most effective player. The excitement he brings has sometimes been the best thing about watching Jurgen Klopp’s side this campaign.
But over the last months, when he’s been in and out of the side, his influence has waned. Whether it’s fatigue or a lack of confidence, Darwin doesn’t look quite right. He should have drawn Liverpool level on Sunday with a one-on-one, but he never looked like beating Aaron Ramsdale. That has happened too many times this season.
Still, there has definitely been more good than bad from Darwin. Once his English comes along and Liverpool (hopefully) improve generally, he should naturally look more at home. Both he and Gakpo will turn twenty-four this summer. As Robbo says, they’re only going to get better. It’s good to hear then that they’ve been showing that improvement on the training pitch.
Whatever their different struggles, we have two super forwards who were much sought after in the transfer market. Along with Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah they make up a fearsome five in attack for Liverpool. Get this season done, and Nunez and Gakpo are two very big reasons to be optimistic about 2023/24.