Gakpo: Seventh Heaven To Faltering Liverpool Fifth Choice

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Cody Gakpo: One Year On From 7-0 Triumph

That Unforgettable Night at Anfield

It’s crazy to think that on an unforgettable night at Anfield a year ago, Liverpool dismantled Manchester United with a staggering 7-0 victory, a match that saw Cody Gakpo’s name etched into the hearts of the Reds after a tremendous performance and two goals to his name including the opener. Yet, a year has passed, and the narrative surrounding Gakpo has shifted from that of a promising star to a player struggling to find his stride. Seventh heaven to fifth isn’t the trajectory he or reds wanted.

Unfulfilled Expectations

Cody Gakpo, once celebrated for his contributions in that historic win, scoring twice, has not quite lived up to the lofty expectations set by that performance. In the year that followed, instead of becoming a pivotal figure for Liverpool, he has slid down the pecking order to become, arguably, the fifth choice among the senior forwards. If anything there’s even some suggesting that Jayden Danns from the bench at the moment is a better option. Recent displays have left fans and critics alike pondering his future at Anfield, with performances that have been, at best, underwhelming.

Photo: IMAGO

The Struggle for Consistency

Analysis of Gakpo’s game time and positions played reveals a player stretched across multiple roles on the pitch. With 364 minutes clocked over four games in 11 days, Gakpo has been a workhorse for Liverpool, stepping in wherever needed, from left wing to centre-forward, and even midfield roles. This versatility, while valuable, has perhaps hindered his ability to nail down a specific role and showcase the form that Liverpool fans had hoped for after his initial impact. It’s also mitigation when a squad is one it’s knees injury wise and the manager has admitted he’s been asked to go again when he shouldn’t have done.

Stats Tell the Story

Gakpo’s statistics offer a clear insight into his journey at Liverpool so far. Despite scoring in the memorable 7-0 victory, his overall contribution haven’t been a clear uplift or decline either way to be honest. In the 23/24 season, across all competitions, Gakpo has amassed 11 goals and 5 assists in 38 appearances – a decent return, but perhaps not what might be expected of a player with his potential and the initial promise he showed. There’s clearly talent and ability there, it’s just the physical aspect of the premier league that many are wondering about.

Crucial Turning Point

As Liverpool prepares to face Sparta, a lot of eyes will be on Gakpo. It’s a pivotal moment that could play a role in his future at Anfield. The need for a significant upturn in form is clear if he wishes to avoid the fate of becoming a perpetual fifth choice. Whilst this game isn’t everything by any means, it’s hard to see him starting against City. Gakpo’s talent is undeniable, but talent alone has never been enough at the highest levels of football. The end of this season represents not just a challenge, but an opportunity for Gakpo to reassert his importance to Liverpool’s ambitions. All Liverpool’s ambitions relate to trophies now and nothing will be done to rock the boat. However, it feels like it needs to be a huge end to the season for the Dutchman. If it isn’t, there’ll be questions come summer.

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