After a World Cup in which Cody Gakpo scored three goals in his first three games and the Netherlands was the leading player, there is no doubt that the best clubs in Europe will compete for his autograph.
In addition to his three World Cup goals, he contributed 36 goals (18 goals, 18 assists) in 34 games in all competitions this season for PSV Eindhoven – a pretty scary amount.
Gakpo was on the verge of joining Leeds United on the last day of last summer, but the deal was too late for that day and Eindhoven kept his man in the first part of this campaign. Before Leeds arrived, Southampton and Manchester United were actively pushing for his signing, but eventually both went in different directions.
Erik Ten Hag is an open fan of his compatriot and saw him up close for several seasons while managing AFC Ajax in the Eredivisie. Had it not been for Antony’s eventual signing, Manchester United would have signed Gakpo, who were alternate target last summer, by now.
With weekly goals and assists from Gakpo this season, the price tag has increased to PSV’s delight. The Dutch national player was worth around £35m in the summer, but with his continued rise and status, the Eredivisie club are currently looking for a fee close to £50 – £60m – that’s most likely what they’ll get.
23-year-old Gakpo has a long and exciting future ahead of him. Playing for his national team and scoring for fun, he is a player sought after by the overwhelming forces of European football.
With the termination of Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract at Manchester United, which made headlines during the World Cup, opens up space for a much-needed striker to come and support the attack.
And while Gakpo is typically a left winger, Ten Hag has made it clear several times that he wants his forward line to be incredibly fluid. Anthony Martial is currently number nine, but his longevity is in serious question, especially given his poor record with injuries this season.
A forward is needed for the month of January and Gakpo seems most likely given his relationship with Ten Hag and PSV’s availability. While it will cost them £50m, he will continue to grow in his performances and is a player with an astounding goal-to-play ratio.
At over 1.80m, Gakpo also has the physical profile to help him in the Premier League.
PINK League. Playing in the middle as a center forward that Ten Hag could well use means going up against physically demanding opponents and teams. Gakpo’s aerial advantages allow Man United to act in a multidimensional way as they build their attacks.
January is approaching and Manchester United are putting things in order to close the deal and bring Gakpo to Old Trafford.