From Midfield Mishap to Frontline Focus: Klopp Takes Responsibility for Gakpo’s Season

Cody Gakpo

Cody Gakpo’s first season at Liverpool has been an enigma, a tale of early promise followed by unexpected struggles. Now, manager Jurgen Klopp has taken the reins of responsibility, acknowledging his own tactical choices as a contributing factor to the Dutchman’s inconsistencies. This shift in perspective opens up intriguing possibilities for Gakpo, who could be poised for a resurgence in his preferred attacking role.

The Enigma of Gakpo: From Flying Start to Midfield Mishap

Gakpo’s arrival from PSV Eindhoven last January fueled excitement. His £35 million price tag reflected his potential, and his initial performances lived up to the hype. He seamlessly integrated into the Reds’ attacking system, showcasing his versatility and finishing prowess. However, as the season progressed, Gakpo’s influence seemed to wane. The emergence of Darwin Nunez further complicated his role. Klopp’s decision to experiment with Gakpo in midfield added another layer of uncertainty.

This tactical shift proved to be a double-edged sword. While it highlighted Gakpo’s adaptability, it also exposed his defensive vulnerabilities. Klopp himself admitted, “The defensive responsibilities…cost him confidence.” The dynamic, “flying” player who initially impressed seemed to lose his spark, struggling to adjust to the demands of a new position.

Klopp Takes the Blame, Vows Offensive Focus for Gakpo

However, there’s a refreshing honesty in Klopp’s recent statements. He readily acknowledged his role in Gakpo’s struggles, stating, “The numbers are fine, but Cody’s struggles were more my fault.” This admission of responsibility is a testament to Klopp’s leadership qualities and his commitment to individual player development.

More importantly, Klopp’s approach isn’t merely apologetic; it’s proactive. He recognizes that Gakpo’s true strength lies in his attacking abilities, declaring, “As long as we can avoid that [playing him in midfield], he’ll be very offensive, which I’m 100% sure is possible.” This shift in focus signifies a return to the blueprint that initially brought out the best in Gakpo.

Opportunity Knocks: Can Gakpo Seize the Moment?

This renewed focus on Gakpo’s attacking role comes at an opportune time. Injuries to key players like Diogo Jota and Nunez have opened up vacancies in the front three. Gakpo’s recent performance off the bench against Brentford, where he scored and assisted is the witness of his comeback. This also serves as a timely reminder of his attacking prowess.

While his season so far has been a mixed bag, Gakpo’s talent remains undeniable. Klopp’s willingness to adapt and acknowledge his own shortcomings creates a positive environment for the Dutchman’s development. With renewed trust and a chance to shine in his preferred position, Gakpo has the opportunity to turn his season around and prove his worth to the Liverpool faithful.
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