Transfer season is around the corner so we’re taking a look at ten youngsters ready to make the step up next campaign. In England, Crystal Palace’s Tyrick Mitchell and Nottingham Forest loanee Died Spence are two names to keep an eye on. Arsenal’s William Saliba looks ready for regular action, but will it be at the Emirates? Man Utd’s James Garner has also impressed on loan at Forest, whilst Fulham’s Fabio Carvalho is already set to move to Liverpool. Elsewhere on the continent, Giacomo Raspadori is doing bits at Sassuolo, Sporting’s midfielder Manuel Ugarte has seen his stock rise, whilst Adam Hlozek is probably the best teenager outside a major league right now. Cody Gakpo and Hugo Ekitike are two other names to keep an eye on – big moves aplenty this summer! Enjoy!
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Who is Cody Gakpo? The PSV Forward Wanted by Arsenal and Liverpool
Welcome back! Today I’m going to be answering the question: who is Cody Gakpo and why the PSV Eindhoven forward is being scouted by Arsenal, Liverpool and a whole host of other top European clubs?
Statman Dave Clips ➡
Born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands on the 7th May 1999 Cody Mathès Gakpo is a full Dutch international footballer who plays for PSV Eindhoven. Gakpo began his career at EVV Eindhoven before he joined PSV in 2007 thanks to a cooperation deal between the clubs that allows youth players be swapped. Gakpo made his professional debut for Jong PSV in November 2016 at 17 years old. After scoring 17 goals and registering 6 assists in 25 appearances for the under 21s, Gakpo was integrated into the senior setup, making his PSV debut at 18 in a 3-1 win over Feyenoord in 2018. Since then, Gakpo has been directly involved in 45 Eredivisie goals in 3 seasons for PSV despite averaging just 67 minutes per appearance but where does he play?
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Cody Gakpo is a versatile forward that’s had minutes on both flanks, at number 10 and even up front. Despite that the Dutchman is at his best from the left wing where he’s able to cut inside and onto his stronger right foot. He’s got the raw materials to be one of the best players in Europe: strong, athletic, fast and agile but also technically superb with a great understanding of the game. For PSV, one of Gakpo’s most useful skills is his spatial awareness. Like a lot of Dutch footballers, Gakpo is tactically intelligent and he uses this intelligence to find pockets of space that he can receive in, notably in the left half space between the opponents lines. But Gakpo doesn’t just receive centrally. There are other occasions where he holds the width, leaving him in 1 v 1 situations with opposing right backs. These situations are arguably where Gakpo is at his most dangerous as his combination of speed, strength, agility and ball control make him almost undefendable.
Gakpo loves cutting inside with the ball and operating just outside the box. From these positions he’s got a great view of the pitch with space to attack. This allows him to play balls over the top to teammates making runs on the last line, slip through balls in behind the defence or combine with his fellow teammates. His well rounded skill set and the variety of options he has has made him one of the Eredivisie’s leading creators this season. In fact only creative king Dusan Tadic has created more chances per 90 than the 22 year old. He’s also a good team player that isn’t afraid to put in a challenge and help out his full back defensively.
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So what’s next for the 22 year old? Averaging a goal involvement every 69 minutes in the Dutch top flight, Gakpo is ready for the next step and with his skill set and recent, rapid improvement, the sky is the limit. Linked to a whole host of top European sides including Manchester United and Bayern Munich, Gakpo needs to make the right decision for his career and game time could be key. Two hotly fancied Premier League options include Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. Despite reports that Firmino and Mané could be on their way out of Anfield, I think a move to Arsenal makes a lot of sense for Gakpo as he continues to develop his game.
But what do you think? Where should Cody Gakpo’s next move be? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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