Cody Gakpo reveals 'competition' with Darwin Nuñez

Cody Gakpo has admitted he is in 'competition' with Darwin Nuñez for a place in Liverpool's attack, but insists both players' focus is on helping the team.

Gakpo arrived as a January transfer at the beginning of the year in a £35m deal from PSV. Though often used as a left winger early in his career, he was adapted as a centre forward under Jurgen Klopp and became first-choice in the position in the second half of the 2022/23 campaign.

The Dutchman seemingly started the new season at the top of Klopp's pecking order, but Darwin Nuñez's impressive form and a knee injury suffered in the defeat to Tottenham have meant he has only started six league games and one in the Europa League.

However, having a rival for his place in attack isn't having a negative affect on Gakpo, he insists.

Speaking in the ahead of Liverpool's Europa League clash with LASK on Thursday, he said of Nuñez: "He is doing great and it's like a competition.

"But I think we both have to just keep working hard and being the [best] players we can be to help the team as much as we can."

Gakpo's inclusion as part of the pre-match press duties signal he is likely to start the game against LASK, where a point will secure Liverpool's qualification for the knockout rounds.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Elsewhere, Gakpo commented on the growing Dutch contingent at Anfield.

"Obviously it's nice to have them here and Virgil [Van Dijk] was already here before me," the forward said of his teammates Van Dijk and Ryan Gravenberch.

"It's nice we can speak Dutch, we get to know each other better and better. But it's not like we are a group within a group.

"We just can work together better maybe because we speak the same language. But we try to work together in everything and speak English."

On summer signing Gravenberch's integration, he added: "I think he is a really good player, he is someone who is really good and comfortable with the ball.

"[His] receiving is outstanding, and he can turn and run with the ball, he can play good passes as well."

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