"He's obviously desperate" - James Milner claims Liverpool star is desperate to get on the scoresheet
Liverpool veteran James Milner has praised January arrival Cody Gakpo, while adding that the Dutchman is eager to score for his new team.
Gakpo joined the Reds from PSV Eindhoven on a deal worth around £40 million during last month's winter transfer window. The young forward has shown signs of his talent and quality, but that is yet to manifest into goal contributions.
Milner, however, feels the lack of goals shouldn't take away from Gakpo's general performances. The versatile Englishman specifically referred to the Dutchman's display in their 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round loss to Brighton & Hove Albion on January 29.
He told the Reds' official website (as quoted by the Liverpool Echo):
"At Brighton, I thought Cody was outstanding. He's obviously desperate to get on the scoresheet, but I thought his performance in the game was outstanding.
"It's important that doesn't get lost because, if you're not acknowledging the good things you're doing, it's going to be hard to get the momentum and the confidence to get on a roll."
Milner went on to add:
"You see people like Stefan [Bajetic] coming into the team and doing very well, and it's important we protect those guys and make sure people like him keep doing what they're doing.
"It's important we keep that positivity. It's easy to be very down and look at all the negatives when you aren't getting results you want, but it's important to highlight things that are good as well."
Against Brighton, Gakpo played the entire 90 minutes but could not register a single shot or key pass. He completed only 15 passes with a decent accuracy of 79%, while recording one successful dribble, four successful ground duels, two fouls won and a tackle.
Overall, Gakpo is yet to score in five appearances across the Premier League and FA Cup for Liverpool.
This is in stark contrast to his start to the 2022-23 club campaign with PSV, where he netted 13 times and had 17 assists in 24 matches across competitions. He also scored thrice at the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the Netherlands.
Cody Gakpo will hope to get off the mark for Liverpool this weekend
Cody Gakpo and Liverpool will visit the Molineux to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday, February 4. The fixture marks the two teams' third meeting of the season and first in the league.
The Reds and Wolves were drawn against each other in the third round of the FA Cup. The original fixture ended 2-2 at Anfield, with Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah scoring for the hosts, while Goncalo Guedes and Hwang Hee-chan netted for the visitors.
The draw prompted a replay at the Molineux and this time, Liverpool came up trumps thanks to Harvey Elliott's 13th-minute strike.
Gakpo notably played 150 minutes across those two matches and will likely know what to expect from the Wolves defense as he aims to break his duck.