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Klopp Talk: On the Gakpo Signing

The new signing has been somewhat overshadowed by doom and gloom — but Klopp’s comments push optimism

Cody Gakpo of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on January 05, 2023 in Kirkby, England.
Cody Gakpo of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on January 05, 2023 in Kirkby, England.
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

In his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool head coach Jürgen Klopp spoke on new signing Cody Gakpo. The Dutch attacker showed a lot of promise in the World Cup, and Liverpool’s surprise signing came as something of a coup (if you’d put stock in the connections to Manchester United that kept cropping up previously).

Klopp acknowledged that Gakpo has not come to Liverpool when it would have been the easiest decision, but suggests that this speaks well of the player:

There have been easier moments to sign for Liverpool. This year we can’t guarantee CL football, but Cody never asked. He knew the decision. He can see the table. But he wants to push the train, that always helps.

It was a different kind of approach, however, and Klopp suggested as such:

Personality of player is always important. Cody wasn’t in my house, but on phone. When you sit together in a room alone then it becomes clear. We had to do it differently this time. But you see his face and warmth there.

Klopp had been impressed with what he’d seen of Gakpo prior to the player signing with his club, and this has carried on in training:

He’s a good footballer, good in small spaces, likes to shoot from distance, good finisher and dribbler. Everybody who wants to know about him could know as there are a lot of videos out there about him. It is nice to see in real life, in front of you.

He looks really promising and fit. The sessions are intense for him because they’re different. I’m very positive about him. Coming from a new league is always difficult, but we expect a positive impact.

Cody has been in for two full training days and is a joy to watch to be honest. In our situation, it’s really nice to have a player who is pretty natural in a lot of things and knows where the goal is. He is obviously full of joy, enjoying each second at the moment.

Gakpo is available for Liverpool and could take the field on Saturday against Wolves in the FA Cup.

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