KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 1, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo on the pitch before the Football League Cup 4th Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Dean Court. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Explained: Why Cody Gakpo is not in the Liverpool squad vs. Everton

Cody Gakpo was a late omission from Liverpool’s squad for the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night, with Jurgen Klopp calling up Bobby Clark in his place.

The Reds are at Goodison Park for the 244th derby in history and the last of Klopp’s reign, with two key absentees in attack.

Neither Gakpo nor Diogo Jota made the trip across Stanley Park, though unlike the latter, there is no injury for the Dutchman.

Instead, Gakpo is absent as his partner, Noa van der Bij, has gone into labour as they expect their first child.

READ: Confirmed Liverpool lineup vs. Everton with 6 changes

The decision was therefore made for Liverpool’s No. 18 to leave the squad, with Clark making the substitutes’ bench in his place.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 24, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah arrives before the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 244th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Luis Diaz is believed to have kept his place in the starting lineup as a result of this news, with Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez joining him up front.

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Beyond Clark, Klopp’s main attacking options on the bench are Harvey Elliott and Jayden Danns, with the absence of Jota due to a new hip injury a major blow.

There were six changes to the side that beat Fulham 3-1 at the weekend, with Ibrahima Konate, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones coming in along with Salah and Nunez.

Aside from Jota, Gakpo and Elliott, Jarell Quansah, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch all dropped out of the side, instead making the bench at Goodison Park.

Gakpo has found improved form of late, particularly impressing when used in his natural role on the left wing, but that will be missing this time out.

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