Euro 2020 Special

Liverpool Agree Gakpo Deal: Dutch Forward Heading to Merseyside

Liverpool have made an early move in the transfer window by agreeing on a fee to sign Dutch international forward Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven.

The 23-year-old is set to leave for England immediately where he will complete the formalities and undergo a medical before signing for the Merseyside club.

He will be eligible to play for them from January 1st if all the paperwork can be completed in time.

The striker had also been linked with a move to Manchester United, but Jurgen Klopp’s side have acted quickly to head off their rivals.


The fee

The initial fee is reported to be £37 million, although this could rise to £50 million when various add-ons and bonuses are taken into account. This still appears to be excellent value for money, considering that Arsenal have just tabled a £56 million bid to sign Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk, who does not have anything like the proven ability of Gakpo at the top level.


Dutch star                                                                              

Gakpo was one of the stars of the Dutch team that reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, before losing on penalties to the eventual winners, Argentina, in a game that was arguably the worst tempered of the tournament. The referee showed 18 yellow cards, a World Cup record.

The striker scored in each of the Netherlands’ group games and finished as their top scorer in Qatar.

Gakpo was born in Eindhoven and had previously spent his entire career with his hometown club, which he joined at the age of eight.

In all, he played 159 times for them, finding the net on 55 occasions.

The Dutch Footballer of the Year last season, he now has 14 senior international caps, with six goals to his name at that level.


Ten Hag an admirer

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is an admirer of the player, and had wanted to sign him as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who had his contract terminated by mutual consent following the explosive interview he gave to a British TV journalist.

The player’s representatives had reportedly held meetings with the Old Trafford club, but Liverpool have acted quickly to seal the deal, leaving a number of United fans infuriated.


He will join a familiar face at Anfield

When he gets to Anfield, there will be a familiar face ready to greet him, in the form of his Dutch international captain Virgil van Dijk, and that will hopefully help with his acclimatisation to life in the Premier League.


Why have Liverpool signed him?

Despite coming close to winning four trophies last season – they had to settle for the two domestic cups in the end – there is a sense that Jurgen Klopp’s side is a team in transition and one that needs rejuvenation in several key areas.

They have not adequately replaced Sadio Mané, who left on a free transfer at the end of last season, with the man brought in to fill his boots, Darwin Núňez, still struggling to adapt to life in England.

Although they are 15 points behind leaders Arsenal in the Premier League – probably too far back to mount a serious title challenge – there is still plenty to play for this season – including the Champions League when it resumes.

The Merseyside club will play Real Madrid in the round of 16, a chance for revenge after the Spanish club beat them in last season’s final in Paris.

And, with the club potentially up for sale, it will be hoped that Gakpo can score the goals that will guarantee them Champions League football again next season, something that will help them get the maximum price from any potential owners


Who else could Liverpool sign?

Liverpool have also been linked with a move for England and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, with Jurgen Klopp admitting that he is a huge admirer.

However, given that every club in Europe wants him, including Real Madrid, PSG, and Manchester City, and that all potentially have more funds at their disposal to sign a player who could be worth up to £100 million, there are no guarantees he will ever wear a Liverpool shirt.




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