DOHA, QATAR - Saturday, December 3, 2022: Netherlands' Cody Gakpo lines-up before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Netherlands and USA at the Khalifa International Stadium. Netherlands won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Cody Gakpo “very curious” ahead of Arne Slot’s arrival as Liverpool manager

With his countryman Arne Slot prepared to take over as Liverpool head coach in the summer, Cody Gakpo has given his verdict on Jurgen Klopp‘s successor.

Ahead of Slot’s arrival as head coach at Anfield, Gakpo has been heralded as one of the players most likely to benefit under his tutelage.

The pair have already crossed paths four times in the Netherlands, including three meetings between Gakpo’s PSV Eindhoven and Slot’s Feyenoord that brought three goals and three assists from the left wing.

Speaking to ViaPlay after the 4-2 win over Tottenham on Sunday, the Liverpool forward was asked how pleased he was with the appointment.

“To be honest, I have never worked with him,” Gakpo replied.

“I know, of course, that he is a very good coach who has shown it at AZ and at Feyenoord too.

“Of course, we played against [his Feyenoord] a few times, often difficult games.

Cody Gakpo of PSV Eindhoven during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between PSV Eindhoven and Arsenal FC at Phillips Stadium on October 27, 2022 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. ANP OLAF KRAAK Credit: ANP/Alamy Live News

“I am very curious and I think we are all very much looking forward to it.

“The focus at the moment is not there yet and is now on finishing the last two games well, for ourselves, for the club, for the coach, and then we will look further at the new coach.”

Gakpo took a similar approach to that of Virgil van Dijk, who spoke to journalists including This Is Anfield‘s David Lynch following the victory at Anfield.

“Is he the new manager? Nothing has been announced but there’s rumours, things out there that he could be [Klopp’s] successor,” Van Dijk said.

“So let’s see, we have two more games in this season and when it is over and there is news, we will focus on what is coming next but it is a fact that there will be a lot of changes happening and it will be interesting.

“I am here to be a part of that and looking forward to it.

“I am at the club and the captain so I want to help, I will help and I should help [the transition]. If he is the one who comes then let’s see.”

It has been a mild concern in recent weeks that Slot has spoken so openly about the prospect of taking over at Anfield – even though he has played coy – while neither club has announced the deal and Klopp is still in place.

Gakpo and Van Dijk are right to avoid falling into the same trap, with the focus for now on ensuring the best possible send-off for one of Liverpool’s greatest-ever managers.