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Cody Gakpo: “I Want to Help The Team I Play In”

The Dutch international discusses growing into the position that Firmino held.


Change is always hard, but there’s something beautiful about watching a young player prepared to fill the boots of a club legend. For Cody Gakpo, the boots in question are huge—and ones that we’re not ready to let go off yet—but he’s as ready as he’ll ever be.

“(Gus) Hiddink was the first [to mention switching to a number nine role],” Gakpo told Dutch site AD over the weekend. “He spent a while at PSV as a sounding board, saw me busy and said: ‘You have to become a striker or a false striker, Cody’. I didn’t want to believe that then. And also not when Roger Schmidt said the same thing later at PSV. I was more stubborn than now, felt good on the left flank.”

“But at the last World Cup I was already more central on the field and at Liverpool even permanently in the past six months. That was good. I’m just more excited to get better at that place in the near future. Yes, as far as I’m concerned also with Orange,” Gakpo said.

“We play with two wingers who stay high and a striker who can also lower himself to participate in midfield. Klopp saw me doing that, he said after my arrival in January. And now I do too,” Gakpo added. “With us you have Mo Salah on the right flank, he has shown it at the top level for many years. I would rather see him as the ‘leader’ in our attack. I don’t think status is that important anyway. I want to help the team I play in. And I now enjoy doing that from this position.”

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