MUNICH, GERMANY - Tuesday, July 2, 2024: Netherlands' goal-scorer Cody Gakpo celebrates after the UEFA Euro 2024 Round of 16 match between Romania and the Netherlands at the Allianz Arena. The Netherlands won 3-0.(Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ronald Koeman has explained how to use “dangerous” Cody Gakpo in his best role

Getting the most out of Cody Gakpo could be one of the most important jobs facing Arne Slot at Liverpool, and Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has explained why.

With three goals in four games so far, Gakpo is among those leading the pack when it comes to the Golden Boot award at this summer’s Euros.

Germany’s Jamal Musiala is the only player with as many goals whose country is still in the tournament, with Georges Mikautadze’s Georgia and Slovakia’s Ivan Schranz now knocked out.

The key to unleashing Gakpo has been fielding him in the role that saw him earn his £37 million move to Liverpool in the first place: as a left winger.

“First, his position is on the left side,” Koeman told reporters after the Netherlands beat Romania 3-0 in the last 16.

“Because he is really dangerous if he comes one-against-one with the right full-back. Inside, outside, he has his qualities, he’s strong.”

The manager added: “He’s playing at a great level at this tournament.

“He’s maybe the [most] important player until now, and I hope that the rest can come to that level.”

Late on in the victory over Romania, Gakpo switched roles with Memphis Depay, taking up his duties as a centre-forward, with Koeman admitting he was “a little bit tired.”

MUNICH, GERMANY - Tuesday, July 2, 2024: Netherlands' Cody Gakpo scores the opening goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 Round of 16 match between Romania and the Netherlands at the Allianz Arena. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Yes, he can play as a striker, but he has shown today that he’s most dangerous from the left side,” he continued.

After playing mostly as a striker in his season-and-a-half under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool – with only 14 games as a left winger – Gakpo is expected to be restored to his natural role under Slot.

That is not guaranteed, of course, with the new head coach yet to even work with his squad – let alone Gakpo, who will join pre-season later than Friday’s start date.

But his performances against the likes of Poland, Austria and Romania so far have shown that Koeman has found the key to coaxing the most consistent form out of Liverpool’s No. 18.