Cody Gakpo was forced to withdraw from international duty earlier in the week due to a virus that swept through the Netherlands camp, but it’s not to jeopardise his Liverpool minutes.
The 23-year-old would have been hoping to pick up from where he left off at the World Cup when reuniting with his national team this month, but illness stopped him in his tracks.
On Thursday, it was announced that Gakpo was one of five Dutch players to leave the camp ahead of their Euro 2024 qualifiers against France and Gibraltar.
A chicken curry was said to be the culprit, although Virgil van Dijk refused to believe the “delicious” meal was at fault – not a talking point we’d expected during this break!
But with no injury and more than a week to recover, it’s no surprise that David Lynch, of Football Insider, has reported Liverpool are “confident” he will be available to face Man City.
The expectation is Gakpo will be back in full training with the rest of his teammates later in the week, with Jurgen Klopp not to have his full squad back until Thursday at the latest.
It leaves little time to prepare for the trip to the Etihad on April 1, but by that time the Reds will also hope to have Luis Diaz back in full training and Darwin Nunez available after pulling out of international duty due to what was described as ‘cut to the ankle’.
Gakpo’s international withdrawal will have come as a personal disappointment, especially being forced to then watch on as his side lost 4-0 to Ibrahima Konate‘s France, but it did put a break on a taxing few months.
Since signing for Liverpool in January, Gakpo has played in 14 consecutive games and has started in all but one of those matches for a total of 1,057 minutes.
That’s more than the likes of Luis Diaz, Stefan Bajcetic, Diogo Jota, Naby Keita, Fabio Carvalho and Curtis Jones.