Press conferenceEvery word Jürgen Klopp said about Cody Gakpo
Read everything Jürgen Klopp had to say about Cody Gakpo during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Gakpo will officially become a Liverpool player at the start of the January transfer window, subject to a work permit, after the club reached an agreement for his transfer from PSV Eindhoven.
Speaking to reporters at the AXA Training Centre, Klopp explained why he is so excited by the arrival of the Netherlands forward and detailed when supporters are likely to see the new No.18 in action.
Watch | Cody Gakpo: The first interview
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On Gakpo's arrival and why he has been on the club's 'radar for a while'...
The answer is pretty easy, it's obvious because he's a really, really, really good player, so the package is really interesting. The age he is in, the potential he shows, or has, and the quality he showed already in Holland and with the national team as well, so it makes him a really, really interesting player. And that's why we were very interested to get him in and I'm really happy that we could do it. So, big for us, big for him as well, so it's cool. He's obviously delighted about joining us. Everything will be good. So, great day, let me say it like this.
On when he might be available...
What I heard now, we are obviously very early, which is good, but there might be a chance for Brentford – but I think not really, to be honest. Because obviously the first of January is a Bank Holiday and then all the papers, which we don't have to sign but some other people, will have to be signed on the 2nd until lunchtime. I'm not too positive that that will happen but we will not rush it anyway. So, probably Wolves.
On Virgil van Dijk speaking to Gakpo...
Before he technically signed, yes, but Virg was involved from a specific moment on. But we didn't tell him, 'Talk to him' because there was no reason for it. When I was allowed to speak to him, I spoke to him. There are some of these nice moments when you are manager of Liverpool FC and you realise you think you have to convince somebody and then you realise during your talk, 'Oh, the door is wide open, it's more or less a home run.' And it was cool. So we didn't need Virgil to convince him. But after that, obviously Virgil likes to be involved in these kind of things and from a specific moment on he had his say as well. But all good.
On where Gakpo will be 'best utilised'...
The position he played most often is obviously the left wing, that's clear. But he can play different positions. He played for Holland different positions, he played for Eindhoven different positions, so that's all fine. He can play all four positions up front whatever you play. If you play 4-2-3-1, he can play all four positions. If you play 4-3-3, he can play the winger. In 4-4-2, he can play the wing and the striker position. So there's so many things he can play. But he's still very young.
He was in a really good run of form – not only in the league but at the World Cup as well. Obviously Holland had not a striker-friendly approach at the World Cup, let me say it like this. So it was very well organised, difficult to play against, but not creating like 50 chances a game – it was not about that. That's why there, in a different role where he had to defend a lot and all these kind of things, he did really well. But the position he probably would say himself he prefers to play is the left wing in a 4-3-3. For us it's clear, he can play the other positions. We know that and that's why he was so interesting for us.
On whether the Gakpo deal was influenced by the injuries to Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota...
No, not at all. We decided to do something from a sports point of view – without having the green light from the financial side already – months ago if you want, so two or three months ago. So that's why it has nothing to do with that. But in the end that we could do it early, that might have been influenced. We worked on it and you never have a guarantee when you find an agreement or whatever, these kind of things.
How I said, that we talk about that there might be a chance [to play] on the 2nd [of January] is pretty special because the business only starts on the 1st. So the 7th is, for me, the first real possible date. He had an intense World Cup, had two-and-a-half weeks off, which means like three, four sessions he had in that time – it makes absolute sense that he didn't have more. It makes sense that he has now a few sessions – not only for football reasons like how to fit in but as well from a physical point of view. He is well rested, I would say, and now we can start working with him and then he should be fine for the 7th.