Liverpool star Cody Gakpo has revealed Jurgen Klopp immediately told him he’d be used as a striker at the club and saw him as a replacement for Roberto Firmino.
The forward has been speaking to Algemeen Dagblad, relayed by Voetbal Primeur, about his first year at Anfield after arriving from PSV Eindhoven in January last year.
He arrived at Anfield after consistently impressing for the Dutch club but really throwing himself into the public consciousness during the World Cup in Qatar, when he was very much the star man for the Netherlands.
That ultimately saw him secure his €42m move to Liverpool and he’s been starring ever since, with 11 goals and four assists in 40 games in all competitions to date.
118 of his 159 games for PSV came playing as a left-winger but that’s changed for Liverpool where 29 of his games to date have been as a centre-forward and only four on the wing.
Some have questioned whether that’s getting the best out of the player, but Gakpo insists Klopp made it clear that it was always the plan for him.
“It was an exciting year in which I made a beautiful journey,” he said.
“And still. I feel very much at home in Liverpool. Football is going well, we live nicely. My girlfriend is happy, and my family and friends are also experiencing everything. Then you are blessed.
“He (Klopp_ immediately said in January: ‘Cody can play good pressing, he can do as a striker what Roberto Firmino did for us for years.’ I am challenged to get out of my comfort zone. I like that.”