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: Who is Netherlands star Cody Gakpo?

Updated  

Nov-25 18:29 first published at 18:29 PM


Eindhoven PSV

Manchester United Football Club

Solskjaer, Ole Gunnar

Cody Gakpo from the Netherlands

After being linked to Manchester United, PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo has scored in each of the Netherlands’ first two World Cup matches.

Cody Gakpo has scored in both of his World Cup games in Qatar. Cody Gakpo has made his mark on the biggest stage, scoring goals in each of the Netherlands’ first two World Cup games despite having held talks to join Manchester United.

The PSV Eindhoven attacker appeared to be on his way out of the Eredivisie club this summer, with Old Trafford the most likely destination. The Dutch international has drawn Premier League interest, and the 23-year-old has spoken openly about United’s interest in him. Gakpo, however, remained in Eindhoven after his move to United fell through despite discussions with manager Erik ten Hag.

The Red Devils manager was well aware of Gakpo’s abilities, having faced him as an opponent when he was in charge of Ajax. Ten Hag and United decided to sign Antony from Ajax to bolster his wide attacking area, but there is a strong possibility that the club will renew their interest in Gakpo in 2023. Despite the emergence of teenage talent Alejandro Garnacho, Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure has left United lacking in attacking numbers this season.

“I was close to leaving, I spoke to Erik ten Hag a few times at Manchester United,” Gakpo said in an interview with The Times last month. In the end, the deal fell through, which was unfortunate for me and my development, as Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world, but also for PSV, as transferring a player to Manchester United is beneficial to the club.

“It ended about a week before the transfer window closed, and in that week I had to decide whether to go to Leeds or Southampton.” I eventually stayed, but it was a stressful time.”

Gakpo’s performances in this World Cup have shown United what they are missing, as he has scored in each of his first two games. He scored late as the Netherlands defeated Senegal 2-0 in their first game before scoring again against Ecuador. The 23-year-old scored after only six minutes for Louis van Gaal’s side, who were hoping to advance to the Round of 16 knockout stage with one round of group games remaining. Gakpo delivered another powerful finish that gave the opposing goalkeeper no chance.

Gakpo has also been in fine form for his club side this season, scoring 13 goals for PSV. His price tag will no doubt have risen further as a result of his early World Cup exploits, and he looks set to play a key role for his country.

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