Gakpo told Liverpool move was major mistake with star berated for ignoring Man Utd transfer pleas

Cody Gakpo, Liverpool star in FA Cup action v Wolves Credit: Alamy
Cody Gakpo, Liverpool star in FA Cup action v Wolves Credit: Alamy

Cody Gakpo has been told he has made a huge double error in moving to Liverpool with a former Everton boss condemning the player and manager Jurgen Klopp for bringing him into a struggling side.

The Dutch attacker moved to Anfield at the very start of the January transfer window. A Manchester United target for a number of months, it was Liverpool who nipped to steal his signing with rapid and no-nonsense authority. The Reds will fork out an initial fee of £37m for the 23-year-old, with the final price set to top £45m once bonuses are met.

Gakpo enjoyed a hugely-successful time in the Eredivisie. He scored 21 goals and added 15 assists last season on his way to winning Player of the Year. And that rich form appeared to have been upped a notch this season with Gakpo scoring nine times and adding 12 assists in 14 Eredivisie matches this season.

Understandably, the interest in acquiring his services was high. But eyebrows were raised when he ultimately signed for Liverpool, particularly as the Reds are well blessed for attacker and their obvious weakness was in midfield.

However, Gakpo has been unable to recreate his PSV form in the early days of his time at Liverpool. And in six matches for the club he is yet to score or assist a goal.

Now Gakpo has been told that he made a big error moving to Anfield over Manchester United. And his former manager at PSV, Ruud van Nistelrooy, could not help firing a little dig at the Merseysiders.

Cody Gakpo criticised over Liverpool move

“Gakpo’s dream move was Manchester United, he was in contact with [Erik] Ten Hag since last August,” the PSV manager said, as cited by Sportskeeda.

“I also wanted him to join United – not just because it’s my club and I love them. But also because they are better than Liverpool and offer a lot more potential to their players.”

Gakpo also seemingly ignored his advice to wait for United after being tempted to Anfield by a current Liverpool star.

He continued: “But United did not make a bid in January, so I advised him to wait ’til the summer.

“Something happened and he refused my advice and listened to Virgil who tempted him to join his team. He told me he wanted to move abroad in January.”

Perhaps trying to further endear himself to the United fan base, Van Nistelrooy added that Liverpool are “ten times smaller… in every department”. Blimey.

He also believes Gakpo would be scoring goals for United thanks to their “great midfielders”.

“The fact is Liverpool is ten times smaller than Manchester United, in every department,” the former striker said.

“I feel lucky that I played for the two biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

“Gakpo would have been scoring goals for United already, they have great midfielders who create many chances like [Bruno] Fernandes, Casemiro, and even [Christian] Eriksen.”

Koeman also cannot resist dig at Klopp for Gakpo deal

Van Nistelrooy is not the only one to make a dig at Gakpo and Liverpool over the move.

Indeed, former Everton boss Ronald Koeman, quite often seen as something of a spiky character, could also not resist a poke at Liverpool.

And Koeman thinks the Reds’ lowly position and poor form has hindered Gakpo’s acclimatisation to the Premier League.

“He has ended up in a team that is not doing well,” Koeman said.

“If you don’t score or you’re not important and you don’t win any matches. It can be very difficult, especially for a young player.

“If that was someone aged 28, with experience, it would be different.”

Speaking on a YouTube show hosted by Andy van der Meyde, Koeman added: “The level in England is higher than in the Netherlands.

“But they are also young boys, aren’t they? Like [Ryan] Gravenberch going to Bayern [Munich] and not playing. Then that is difficult.”

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