Cesc Fabregas has just explained why managers love “functional” Cody Gakpo

Cesc Fabregas has praised Cody Gakpo‘s role for Liverpool and the Netherlands national team, explaining his view that the Dutchman is a “functional” player.

The word “functional” may not be the most glittering when it comes to an attacking player, but it describes Gakpo’s value to his teams well.

As part of the Netherlands side at this summer’s Euros, the 25-year-old has been restored to his natural role on the left wing, which saw him score in the opening 2-1 win over Poland.

READ: Gakpo’s Netherlands role has shown Liverpool how to use their £37m square peg

Gakpo was also one of the biggest threats in Friday’s 0-0 draw with France, before which Fabregas described his importance.

“He played well in the last game, he is a threat. I think he’s a functional player, from what I’ve seen from him at Liverpool,” the former Arsenal, Barcelona and Spain midfielder said in the BBC Sport studio.

“It seems to me that he’s the type of player that needs to be told constantly what to do. But he’s got great ability.

“He’s not the most creative player, but he’s dangerous, he has an eye for goal, he has good movement, he attacks the space well, tries the one-on-one and you could see his big improvement in the tournament.

“He could have scored more than one or two goals in the last game.

“Good goal, obviously hitting the target, bit lucky in the end, deflection, but getting in difficult positions in front of goal to attack the space.

“He should be key for the Dutch team.”

2XCD2CE 2024.06.16 Hamburg Volksparkstadion, UEFA Euro 2024, grupa D, Pilka nozna, Polska - Holandia N/z gol radosc goal CODY GAKPO Foto Mateusz Porzucek PressFocus 2024.06.16 Hamburg Football match between Poland and Holland, group D Polska - Holandia gol radosc goal CODY GAKPO Credit: Mateusz Porzucek PressFocus

The notion of Gakpo needing “to be told constantly what to do” may be seen as a negative, but it also speaks to his adaptability when it comes to a manager’s instructions.

That showed as he performed a number of different roles under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, though the hope now is that he will be a regular on the left for Arne Slot.

Fabregas’ stint as a pundit for the Euros has shown the 37-year-old – now manager of Como 1907 in the Italian second tier – as an intelligent reader of the game off the pitch.

Gakpo’s role as a “functional” player should continue to be key for both Liverpool and the Netherlands, with the forward surely a manager’s dream.