Cody Gakpo frequently appears in transfer stories at Old Trafford. So the fact that the Dutch striker joined Liverpool was a surprise.
That once again emphasizes the efficiency of Liverpool in transfer activities. The 23-year-old striker has barely been linked with a move to Anfield until it’s all over. Even when the deal was approved, many people couldn’t believe their eyes.
With Man Utd, after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, they need a striker. Gakpo is the player the Red Devils tried to sign in the summer and he also impressed at the 2022 World Cup.
Erik ten Hag is very close to Gakpo, but that does not mean the player is a suitable choice for Man Utd’s needs at the moment. He played at the heart of the Dutch national team at the World Cup, but with PSV Eindhoven, Gakpo’s 13 goals and 17 assists this season have all come in 24 games on the left flank.
According to Transfermarkt, Gakpo played 3 games in the center position for the Dutch giants last season. However, it is clear that this player is immature and inexperienced even if he has the qualities to develop in position 9.
With Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota injured, Liverpool need a left winger until the end of the season. The Guardian asserts, Coach Jurgen Klopp wanted to bring in a winger and Gakpo was selected.
In contrast, signing Gakpo could prevent Man Utd from adding a top-class striker in the near future. Coach Ten Hag determined to have a pure striker, instead of playing as versatile as Gakpo.
However, Gakpo joining Liverpool also comes with risks. In fact, the player could improve Ten Hag’s picks up front. In case Anthony Martial is injured, Marcus Rashford or Gakpo can play in the middle.
Not to mention, Gakpo can shine and help Liverpool into the top 4. At that time, the battle for tickets to the Champions League is even more fierce when Arsenal and Man City are predicted to hold the top two positions.
So the question for Man Utd is who are they recruiting now? Goncalo Ramos is not a cheap option after a hat-trick in the World Cup. Mohammed Kudus can function as a virtual nine, flexible in position and Ten Hag worked with the player at Ajax.
Alternatively, it could be another short-term option, like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did with Odion Ighalo in January 2020. Memphis Depay is more mature and is also ready to leave Barcelona in January 2023.
Man Utd have issues to deal with, especially regarding the transfer budget after a summer of spending more than £200m. At least they saved £16m in salary when Ronaldo left Old Trafford.
That number could be enough to attract an option like Depay and allow Man Utd more opportunities to pursue another striker, class and top quality in the summer of 2023.
Xiao Lam | 22:36 December 27, 2022