Jurgen Klopp admits he made a mistake with Cody Gakpo; ‘It didn’t work out well'

Jurgen Klopp admits he made a mistake with Cody Gakpo earlier this season. The Liverpool forward didn’t enjoy his role.

Jurgen Klopp admits he ‘caused problems’ for Cody Gakpo this season by trying to play him in midfield. It happened earlier in the campaign, when injuries left Liverpool without several midfielders.

Klopp tried to repurpose Gakpo as a midfielder to cover those players. It’s a position the 24-year-old has played with his national team, although in a 3-5-2 formation, rather than a 4-3-3.

The Liverpool boss now admits it caused problems for Gakpo, who never felt comfortable there in Red.

“Cody, I’ve said it before, is a super important player,” Klopp told a press conference on Wednesday. "He came on against Sheffield [United] and played incredible, against Man United [he was] really good.

“I caused a bit of a problem in a phase where we didn’t have midfielders, so I put him in midfield. It didn’t work out well. I thought he was alright but he couldn’t gain the confidence each player needs.

“Since he’s back up front, and he can play in between the lines and be himself, it’s all heading in the right direction again.”

Cody Gakpo for Liverpool

Perhaps Gakpo’s biggest problem since joining Liverpool have been inconsistency that can largely be put down to his position. He primarily played as a left-sided forward for PSV Eindhoven, where he was wildly successful.

But since moving to Anfield, Gakpo hasn’t really had a position. He’s played from the left, albeit in a different formation, as well as centrally in more of a False 9 role. Klopp has used him from the right on occasion, too.

And then, of course, came the spell in midfield. It’s not easy for any player, with Klopp noting a struggle for confidence when out of position. He’s essentially the only player in the squad without a clear primary position.

Will that change under a new manager? It’s very possible, while talk of Luis Diaz potentially leaving the club could push Gakpo up the pecking order.

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