Liverpool want Gakpo to do what Diaz did – however Klopp’s facet just isn’t what it was 12 months in the past

The £44m signing from PSV Eindhoven loved a low-key Anfield debut however the Reds are banking on an instantaneous affect.

For Cody Gakpo, it was one thing of a low-key Anfield introduction.

The Dutchman’s title could have drawn the loudest cheer of the evening when it was learn out, pre-match, however his affect thereafter was minimal as Liverpool, regardless of the presence of their new £44 million ($52m) ahead, labored to a 2 -2 draw with Wolves within the FA Cup third spherical – a outcome the Reds barely deserved, and which does little to calm the present sense of unease across the membership.

Gakpo, beginning on the left of Jurgen Klopp’s assault, was on the periphery for probably the most half, neat and tidy sufficient with out ever actually threatening to take the roof off. He performed a component in Liverpool’s second objective, sure, however Mohamed Salah’s strike owed extra to Toti Gomes’ misjudgment and the absence of a linesman’s flag than it did to the brand new boy’s clipped cross.

He lasted 84 minutes, cash within the financial institution so far as Liverpool are involved, and naturally obtained a beneficiant ovation from the house supporters when changed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Higher days and nights, undoubtedly, will come for the 23-year-old within the well-known purple shirt.

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The difficulty is, Gakpo has arrived at a time when Liverpool want him to hit the bottom operating. He is signed for five-and-a-half years, however it’s the subsequent five-and-a-half months which might be regarding Reds followers. Their season sits on a knife edge, they usually may do with somebody sparking them again into life.

In some ways, Gakpo’s arrival on Merseyside bears similarities with that of Luis Diaz, 12 months in the past. Then, as now, Liverpool introduced ahead curiosity in a much-wanted ahead participant, appearing shortly to beat a Premier League rival to their signature. It was Tottenham who missed out on Diaz, Manchester United who had been left disenchanted over Gakpo.

The important thing distinction, nevertheless, is that the Liverpool group Gakpo is becoming a member of is a world away from the one who welcomed Diaz, and that the necessity for an immediate affect, a game-changing affect, is much larger than it was with the Colombian.

Diaz joined a group which was second within the Premier League, decided to search out leaders Manchester Metropolis, which had a Carabao Cup last to look ahead to, and which had misplaced solely two of its earlier 43 video games in all competitions. He joined a facet which knew precisely what it was and the way it was speculated to win matches, and a squad which contained not solely Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, however Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi too.

The Reds’ depth, actually, was such that Klopp quickly discovered himself fielding questions on having to depart gamers of the standard of Minamino, Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott within the stands. Seems like a lifetime in the past now, would not it?

Amid all that, Diaz was capable of are available in and add one thing recent, one thing thrilling. He arrange a objective inside 10 minutes of his debut as an alternative within the FA Cup towards Cardiff, made his Premier League debut 4 days later, and by the top of his first month, he’d scored his first objective and secured his first medal, handing over a participant of the match efficiency towards Chelsea in that League Cup last at Wembley. By the top of the season he’d carried out the identical within the FA Cup last, began the Champions League last defeating Actual Madrid and established himself as a agency favourite amongst supporters.

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Gakpo arrives right into a somewhat completely different set of circumstances. Liverpool, after a dreadful autumn, are already out of the title image and their League Cup protection was ended on the Etihad Stadium earlier than Christmas. They’ve a Champions League last-16 tie towards holders Actual Madrid to organize for, and saved themselves the embarrassment of an FA Cup exit on the weekend, however their foremost goal between now and Could is to regular the ship sufficiently to safe a top- 4 end, and with it qualification for subsequent season’s Champions League.

That appears a troublesome process, given each their very own inconsistencies and the enhancements made by others – most notably Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United. The hole to United in fourth is presently seven factors, not insurmountable by any means, however actually vital for a group that has issues in nearly each space proper now.

The hope is that Gakpo, like Diaz, can deliver one thing new, however that will not be straightforward with key gamers (Diaz included) on the sidelines, the midfield in want of pressing and main surgical procedure, and one other ahead, Darwin Nunez, nonetheless discovering his personal ft as the focus of the assault.

Gakpo’s type is just a little completely different to that of Diaz, who is of course direct, performs on the entrance foot and will get supporters out of their seats together with his purposeful raids down the left flank. Gakpo is extra delicate, happier taking part in in combos and cozy throughout completely different positions because of this.

He’s, although, extra of a goalscorer, and within the brief time period that would profit Liverpool vastly.

The Reds have struggled, specifically, to internet the primary objective in matches – they’ve carried out so in solely 11 video games this season and ended up successful all of them, versus conceding first on 14 events and choosing up a constructive outcome solely 4 instances . Having a participant who has scored 34 targets throughout the final two Eredivisie seasons, and who was heading in the right direction thrice in 5 World Cup matches with the Netherlands, can solely assist issues, particularly when contemplating the alternate options for Klopp out extensive in the intervening time. These embody Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose finest goalscoring season was as a 17-year-old with Southampton in League One, Curtis Jones, who has scored thrice in 50 league appearances, and Fabio Carvalho, whose expertise is evident however who seems much less suited to a large position with every passing week.

Aad de Mos, the previous Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Anderlecht boss instructed this week that he would not consider that is the appropriate time for Gakpo to affix Liverpool.

“The group is disappointing a bit,” he stated, “the spirit is totally gone and they’re attempting to get again on observe. It is not a time for younger gamers coming in.”

Gakpo sees it in another way. His debut by him, he says, was “a bit sloppy”, however at 23 that is the transfer he wished, the one he has waited for. It is as much as him to ensure it’s a good one.

And from Liverpool’s perspective, that course of has to begin now. A 12 months in the past Diaz gave an incredible group that further push in the direction of glory. Now, the Reds are hoping a shiny new ahead may help dig an ailing facet out of the ditch they’ve constructed for themselves.


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