Cody Gakpo – Transfer Report: A Perfect Fit For Liverpool

Cody Gakpo – Transfer Report: A Perfect Fit For Liverpool

“Offensively he’s very capable and on top of this, we know he is a smart footballer and also a smart person, so we are really excited to be able to work with him,” Jurgen Klopp said of Liverpool’s latest signing, Cody Gakpo.

Arriving at Anfield for a mere 42 million euros, this transfer represents an incredible deal for the Reds, especially given that they stole the transfer from right under Manchester United’s noses.

The young Dutch star is only 23 years old and is already one of the world’s most sought-after footballers. He has previously attracted interest from Chelsea and Real Madrid and has the talent to become one of football’s top players in the coming decades.

In fact, Gakpo was named Dutch Footballer of the Year for the 2021-22 season, cementing himself as the most talented player in the Eredivisie at the time. The PSV faithful have dubbed him “Eintovenaar,” which translates directly to “The Wizard,” a well-deserved moniker.

Gakpo has 12 goals and 15 assists in just 22 Eredivisie games this season, producing at a rate comparable to Erling Haaland at Manchester City.

Tactical Profile

Gakpo primarily plays as a left winger, but he is versatile enough to start anywhere in a front three and has even played as a number 10 for the Netherlands.


Cody Gakpo percentile rank PSV Eredivisie 2022-23

Gakpo excels at creating opportunities for his teammates, particularly through crossing. He is in the 98th percentile for key passes and the 92nd percentile for penalty area crosses.

Gakpo frequently plays in the half-spaces or rotates with his advanced fullback Phillip Max in the wider regions. He enjoys darting behind the lines in the half-space to latch onto a through ball and pulling back for his striker to finish. In the wider areas, he frequently employs his trickery to create space on his preferred right foot in order to whip an inswinging cross into the box.

He is also a prolific corner-kick taker, ranking in the 97th percentile for goal-creating actions (GCA) from set-pieces. This danger is heightened by the presence of an experienced traditional target-man in Luuk de Jong to head home Gakpo’s dangerous crosses.

Cody Gakpo xG Map PSV Eredivisie 2022/23 Credit: TFA

What makes Gakpo so desirable is not only his creativity, but also his direct goal threat and clinicality. Long-range shooting is an important aspect of his gameplay. Gakpo spends the majority of his time in the half-spaces. This allows him to receive the ball in a central position, cut inside, and curl a shot at goal with his preferred right foot.

Gakpo gets the majority of his shots from the left half-space. He can not only get into dangerous positions to fire shots, but he is also extremely clinical. His goals-xG is +0.18. This indicates that he completes shots at a higher rate than would be expected, highlighting his incredible shooting ability.

His explosiveness and ability to create space for himself with his first touch also contribute significantly to his goal threat. This allows him to move quickly into areas where he can shoot at goal.

Gakpo’s speed is an important aspect of his game. This is further demonstrated by his ability to attack on the break.  His speed, combined with his trickery, allows him to rank in the 94th percentile for completed dribbles, making him a threat for PSV in transition.


However, Gakpo’s lack of defensive output is a significant weakness in his game. His defensive game is severely lacking, as evidenced by the chart. Gakpo still has time to improve his pressing and defensive abilities despite recording low tackle & defensive numbers.


Overall, Gakpo is a player whose skill set complements this Liverpool team well. His ability to cross from the left complements Andy Robertson, and the presence of Darwin Nunez can only help his assist total.

His ability to counter-attack perfectly fits into Jurgen Klopp’s counter-pressing tactics. The only issue is his defensive output, which can be improved with proper training and mindset. For the time being, I see him filling in for the injured Diaz before eventually becoming a starter.

He is an exciting Premier League prospect and one to keep an eye on in the coming years. Liverpool have struck a bargain and will look to make the most of their new forward’s abilities by maximising his potential.

Liverpool fans will be hoping that Gakpo performs to his capabilities this season, & hopefully helps them back into contention for the top four.

Also read: Premier League: Mid-Season Predictions 2022/23 – TFTWC Writers’ Pick

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