“I caused a bit of a problem” - Jurgen Klopp admits he misused Liverpool attacker this season

Liverpool v Norwich City - Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
Jurgen Klopp feels he misused Cody Gakpo.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is adamant Cody Gakpo is heading in the right direction but admits he misused the Dutch forward this season.

Gakpo joined the Reds from Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven in January 2023 for an initial £37 million. The Netherlands international's stock was high amid stellar form at Philips Arena and at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

However, the 24-year-old has somewhat struggled to reach expectations during his time at Anfield. He's failed to cement himself as a regular starter and found himself playing in central midfield seven times this season.

Klopp appears to have suggested that using Gakpo in midfield stunted his development. The Liverpool boss claimed that he was short of options so turned to the attacker (via Anfield Watch):

"I caused a bit of a problem in a phase where we didn’t have midfielders, so I put him in midfield. It didn’t work out well. I thought he was alright but he couldn’t gain the confidence each player needs."

Gakpo has returned to his familiar position in Klopp's frontline and last played in midfield in a 0-0 draw with Manchester United (December 17). He's registered 14 goals and four assists in 45 games across competitions, all coming from attacking position.

Klopp alluded to his upturn in form:

"Since he’s back up front, and he can play in between the lines and be himself, it’s all heading in the right direction again."

Gakpo does face hefty competition for a starting berth in Liverpool's front three. Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, and Luis Diaz appear to be Klopp ideal frontline while Diogo Jota is also an option.

Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah feels Cody Gakpo is underappreciated

Mohamed Salah (right) feels fans don't appreciate Cody Gakpo (left).
Mohamed Salah (right) feels fans don't appreciate Cody Gakpo (left).

Salah has been Liverpool's protagonist for yet another season and reached 200 goals for the club in December. The Egyptian forward has flourished with 23 goals and 13 assists in 35 games across competitions and has earned a ton of plaudits.

However, the 31-year-old pointed out Gakpo's contributions that perhaps go under the radar. He said (via The Kop Times):

"Cody doesn’t get credit because the fans I don’t know if they really understand his game or not. But he is a very, very clever player. I admire the way he thinks, it’s very, very good. He is young and wants to learn, he asks a lot of questions."

Gakpo was on Manchester United's radar before joining Liverpool as Erik ten Hag looked to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. He was viewed as one of Europe's top attackers during his time at PSV, registering 55 goals and 50 assists in 159 games, winning the Eredivisie title in 2018.

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now