Cody Gakpo reveals challenge of replacing Roberto Firmino at Liverpool

Cody Gakpo has revealed that Jurgen Klopp immediately saw him as a player capable of replacing Roberto Firmino up front for Liverpool.

The Dutchman joined the Reds last January for £35m from PSV Eindhoven, arriving on Merseyside with a reputation as a left-winger with a strong track record of supplying goals and assists in the Eredivisie and with the Netherlands.

Gakpo joined Liverpool off the back of an impressive 2022 winter World Cup, scoring three goals as the Netherlands reached the quarter-finals of the competition in Qatar.

However, despite being known as a winger, the 24-year-old had regularly featured in a centre-forward role for the national team, a position he was immediately asked to play upon his arrival at Anfield.

With Darwin Nunez enduring a difficult first season with the Reds and Roberto Firmino's influence waning, Klopp saw Gakpo as someone capable of leading the line despite his relative inexperience in such a role.

Speaking to Dutch news outlet Algemeen Dagblad, the forward stated: "[Klopp] immediately said in January: 'Cody can press well, he can do as a striker what Roberto Firmino did for us for years'. I am challenged to get out of my comfort zone. I like that."

Gakpo has settled at Anfield quickly and, despite joining a struggling Liverpool team last season, the Dutch attacker now has 11 goals and four assists for the Reds. Having quickly endeared himself to Klopp, his teammates and the club's supporters, the former PSV man has excelled in English football

"It's been an exciting year in which I made a beautiful journey. And I'm still on it.

"I feel very much at home in Liverpool. Football is going well, we live nice. My girlfriend is happy and my family and friends are also experiencing everything. We are blessed."

Nunez's impressive form this season has seen Gakpo feature less regularly from the start, but he has still provided five goal contributions in 14 games this term.

With Nunez playing in the early hours of Wednesday morning with Uruguay before a long flight back from South America, Gakpo may be offered a start against Manchester City in Saturday's early kick-off following the international break.

Share This Article