In a matter of months, Cody Gakpo has become one of the first names in Jurgen Klopp‘s lineup and has featured in more than one position.
Despite scoring just six times in 23 appearances, Gakpo has endeared himself to the Liverpool manager with his tireless work rate and clever hold-up play.
With Roberto Firmino leaving in the summer, it appears the Dutchman is primed to take on the Brazilian’s centre-forward role permanently, and his versatility is a trait he shares with the No. 9.
Gakpo arrived as a goalscoring left winger, but he has now grown into a false nine that drops deep to link play.
He is learning from the best, Firmino, but Liverpool’s new signing offers more ability to drive at players than perhaps his predecessor did.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Gakpo said: “I enjoy playing for sure and I’m looking where I can help the team the most.
“Sometimes that’s a little bit deeper in the midfield and sometimes it’s in the striker’s position. I just enjoy playing with my team-mates, and especially when you win it is way more fun!”
He must be having fun at the moment then, as Liverpool have won their last six consecutive matches with Gakpo starting all but one of those.
The Reds gained three points over both their top-four rivals this weekend but Gakpo isn’t getting ahead of himself.
“It’s a great feeling [to win six games in a row] but the season isn’t over yet,” the attacker explained.
“I think we just have to stay focused, keep working hard and try to win the last three as well. I’m really happy with the win and looking forward to the next game already.”
One man who has been key to helping Liverpool and Gakpo climb the table is Mo Salah.
Having scored his 100th Anfield goal at the weekend and drawn level with Steven Gerrard in fifth on the all-time top scorers list, Gakpo said he was “proud” of his team-mate, despite not knowing him for long.
“Everybody knows Mo maybe better than I do, a really great player and a really great person as well,” Gakpo said.
“When he breaks records, because I think he has already broken two since I’ve been here, we are all proud of him and lucky to have him here. He helps the team a lot with his goals and assists, so really happy.”
With Liverpool needing to win their three remaining matches to even stand a chance of qualifying for the Champions League, Gakpo and Salah’s performances will be crucial to the team chances.