'A joy to watch!' Jurgen Klopp gives positive Cody Gakpo update ahead his debut
Jurgen Klopp has revealed Cody Gakpo has been ‘a joy to watch’ in training and is ready to make his debut against Wolves in the FA Cup tomorrow.
Liverpool stole a march on their rivals last week when they agreed a deal to sign the prolific former PSV Eindhoven forward, beating the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea to his signature.
Gakpo was ineligible to play against Brentford earlier this week but much to Klopp’s relief, given the injuries sustained by Roberto Firmino, Digo Jota and Luis Diaz, is ready to make his Anfield bow tomorrow.
‘Yes, he is in contention. He will be involved in the squad, of course. How exactly we will have to decide in the next few hours, but that’s fine.
‘First impressions of him are brilliant. With all these things, injured strikers and stuff like this, then you see a guy who is obviously a natural footballer on the pitch and knows where the goal is, it is a lift for everybody.
‘So, that’s cool and somehow he will be involved, definitely.’
Where exactly the 23-year-old slots in remains to be seen given the extent of Liverpool’s injuries, although Klopp had previously confirmed Gakpo prefers to play on the left-hand side of a 4-3-3 formation.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Klopp added: ‘Cody has been in for two full training days and is a joy to watch to be honest. In our situation, it’s really nice to have a player who is pretty natural in a lot of things and knows where the goal is
‘He is obviously full of joy, enjoying each second at the moment.
‘He is good in small spaces, he likes to finish from distance – he is a good finisher and a good dribbler. He’s a good footballer.
‘This is the first possible moment where he could play in this window, so we did it pretty early. That is why I am completely fine for the situation.’
Liverpool signed Diaz from Porto 12 months ago and the Colombia international had a transformative impact on their season, but Klopp has played down the suggestion that Gakpo will find it just as easy to hit the ground running.
He said: ‘He looks good, he looks fit. I am very positive about it. Is he 100% fit? I don’t know. The two sessions he’s had were intense for him and it’s new, so you feel it a bit more
‘I don’t think it’s helpful to compare him with the impact of Luis Diaz – that was really special.
‘There have been easier moments to join Liverpool – we cannot gurantee the Champions League next year – he knew it would be a tight position – but he doesn’t want to jump on the train, he wants to push the train. I like that a lot.
‘That always helps. Liverpool is a massive club – we describe the club internally as a family. We don’t forget personal things – we sing Happy Birthday to everyone, we give people flowers in the right moment. It is tough right now but we will get back to where we were.’
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