It has been claimed that Cody Gakpo can only become “one of the best players” if Jurgen Klopp decides to end his spell as manager of Liverpool.
Gakpo was in stunning form for PSV Eindhoven at the start of the season. He grabbed nine goals and 12 assists in his 14 Eredivisie appearances.
His 2022/23 performances fuelled talk that he would join Man Utd in January after they decided against pursuing him during the summer transfer window.
But Liverpool ended up getting him. The Premier League side worked in the shadows to get the deal completed and news of their interest only came to the surface shortly before the transfer was finalised.
Gakpo has been thrown in at the deep end at Liverpool as he has come into a team that is struggling. Klopp would also have preferred to ease him into the team but the Dutchman has had to play right away with Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino out injured.
The 23-year-old has unsurprisingly taken a little while to get going but he shone on Monday night against Everton. He got on the scoresheet as Liverpool beat their rivals 2-0.
Klopp has come under pressure this season but he will hope that his team can now kick on and earn a spot in the Champions League places.
Weirdly, former Ajax and PSV boss Aad de Mos has claimed that Gakpo will only reach his full potential at Liverpool once Klopp has left.
“Liverpool are entering a new cycle and he can become one of the best players if Liverpool gets a new manager,” De Mos told Soccernews.nl.
“I think Klopp’s era is coming to an end. Now it has also become known in the media that after seven years at Mainz, seven years at Dortmund and now his seventh year at Liverpool, things are coming to an end.
“Gakpo will certainly find his place in a new, young team. It is normal for clubs to perform a little less, now they will continue to select and they will be a good team again.”
This is while former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart has hit out at Klopp for playing Gakpo as a striker.
“The biggest surprise for me wasn’t that Liverpool bought Cody Gakpo last month,” the ex-Spurs man told Ladbrokes.
“Look, if you have the sort of tournament he did in Qatar, you’re going to attract interest from a lot of top clubs.
“But, for me, they’ve signed a player who has played his whole career as a left-winger, and in the national team he’s played as a number 10, a second striker… and now he’s playing as a striker? He’s not a striker!
“Cody needs space to play in, he needs to run with the ball, that’s where he’s most dangerous. That’s the biggest issue he has at Liverpool.
“Why are they playing him as a number nine? He’s a left-winger who can cut inside and cause danger there.”