Can Cody Gakpo play for Liverpool in the Champions League?

Cody Gakpo‘s Liverpool arrival is imminent but with an important last-16 tie against Real Madrid to consider, will the winger be eligible in the Champions League?

The simple answer to that question is, yes.

Clubs are permitted by UEFA to add three new players after the January window for the knockout rounds, irrespective of if they have already played in the competition for another club.

Gakpo featured in Champions League qualifying before PSV went on to feature in the Europa League this season but that causes no issue for Liverpool.

It is similar to that of Luis Diaz, who arrived in January 2022 and was added to the Reds’ squad for the knockout rounds despite playing for Porto in the group stage.

Cody Gakpo of Holland, Virgil van Dijk of Holland celebrate the 1-0 during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 group A match between the Netherlands and Qatar at Al Bayt Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. ANP MAURICE VAN STONE Credit: ANP/Alamy Live News

The club named 24 players in their squad for the group stage this season and it will need a tweak to accommodate Gakpo.

Jurgen Klopp will also want to add Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after they were omitted for the first six games due to injury, the same fate that could now befall Diaz and Arthur.

Decisions will need to be made as to who drops out with Diaz, Arthur and potentially even Stefan Bajcetic names that could be cut from the 24-man squad named for the first six games.

In simple terms, though, Gakpo can play for Liverpool in the Champions League this season and his place in the squad could even be a straight swap with Diaz.

There’s reshuffling to do and Liverpool have until 11pm (GMT) on February 2 to submit their squad, ahead of the first leg of their last-16 tie against Real Madrid on February 21 at Anfield.