"Playing in the national team is stressful" - Van Gaal says 'fantastic' Arsenal target can do 'much better'

Louis van Gaal on Arsenal target Cody Gakpo
Louis van Gaal on Arsenal target Cody Gakpo

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal shared his view on reported Arsenal target Cody Gakpo's performance in their win over Wales. He termed him a fantastic player as the Oranje won 2-1 in their UEFA Nations League match on Wednesday, June 8.

Gakpo started the match at the Cardiff City Stadium and played 67 minutes before being substituted for Steven Bergwijn. The winger won four out of his attempted six ground duels and made three tackles and one interception. This was only his fifth cap for the national side.

Cody Gakpo.That's it. That's the tweet.#PSVxPUMA

After the match, Van Gaal spoke about debutants Jerdy Schouten and Jordan Teze's performances. He also mentioned Gakpo while talking about how "stressful" it is playing for the national team. He opined that the 23-year-old could do better and said:

“Especially before halftime, they suffered too much loss of ball. Schouten suffered less loss of the ball than Teze. But I already said it before the game: playing in the national team is stressful. You also see that the Orange shirt weighs heavily for Gakpo. I think he is a fantastic talent, but he can do much better than he showed now. He also had a bit of bad luck last season, he was often injured.”

Netherlands now sit at the top of their UEFA Nations League group after beating Belgium and Wales in their two matches so far.

Arsenal interested in signing Cody Gakpo

As per Football London, Arsenal are highly interested in signing Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven this summer. He is under contract with the Eredivisie club until 2026.

They might be able to advance for the 23-year-old as well. According to VI, PSV are looking at Sporting CP attacker (currently on loan at Basel) Joelson Fernandes as a potential replacement for Gakpo.

PSV Eindhoven are interested in signing Portuguese winger Joelson Fernandes from Sporting club de Portugal should Cody Gakpo depart. (VI)

Hence, if the Dutchman departs, Arsenal will look to pounce on him. He's also admitted that he is keeping his options open ahead of the FIFA World Cup later this year. He said on Telegraaf (via Inside Futbol):

“Anything can happen this summer. I will now calmly compare all the options and see what is best for me. Staying another is also an option. It would be a shame if I went somewhere where I wouldn’t get a job at all and I could miss the World Cup. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Gakpo had a great 2021-22 season for PSV. He made 47 appearances in all competitions, scoring 21 goals and contributing 15 assists.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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