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Liverpool have just replaced Sadio Mane in a way no-one saw coming

Liverpool have just replaced Sadio Mane in a way no-one saw coming

Since joining Liverpool blast month, Cody Gakpo’s performance has raised more questions than answers. It is unclear why the club chose to spend £37m on him instead of addressing their need for a midfielder.

Additionally, Liverpool already has Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, and Darwin Nunez as left-sided forwards, so it is puzzling why they would bring in yet another. Furthermore, it is unclear why Liverpool has been playing their traditional number nine, who they spent an initial £64m on last summer, out wide while utilizing Gakpo as their central attacker.

These decisions have been confusing, and Liverpool’s recent form, combined with Gakpo’s limited impact during his first few weeks with the club, has led to further questions. Even Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher expressed his confusion about the club’s decision to sign the Dutchman.

Jurgen Klopp did caution Liverpool fans that Cody Gakpo would not have the same immediate impact as Luis Diaz had when he joined the club a year earlier. Gakpo joined Liverpool during a more challenging period than Diaz did. Despite this, Klopp praised Gakpo’s finishing ability shortly after signing the Dutch forward.

Since Cody Gakpo joined Liverpool, the team’s form has been deteriorating, and there has been little to support Klopp’s praise of the Dutch forward’s finishing ability.

In his first six games, Liverpool scored only four goals, two of which were in Gakpo’s debut against Wolves in the FA Cup, and the team only won one match, the replay at Molineux.

During those six games, Gakpo had minimal impact and failed to score or assist any goals. He had a total of 13 shots, with only four on target and seven in the match against Chelsea.

Additionally, Gakpo played in different positions, starting on the left, then as a front two alongside Mohamed Salah, and later as a central striker between Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho in the FA Cup replay.

It’s possible that Gakpo’s goal in the Merseyside derby victory over Everton could be the start of him finding his form at Liverpool. However, it remains to be seen if he can continue to perform consistently and if he can earn a regular place in the starting XI. Klopp’s usage of him and Liverpool’s form will also be important factors in his success at the club.

It seems that Gakpo’s positional change to a central role, swapping positions with Nunez, helped Liverpool and Gakpo to click for the first time.

This was a departure from previous games where Gakpo was isolated in attack, leading to a lack of rhythm.

In the Merseyside derby, Gakpo registered his second Premier League shot on target, and he scored a simple tap-in at the far post, which was his first goal for Liverpool.

The relief on Gakpo’s face was evident, and the goal seemed to boost his confidence as he continued to grow in influence and show his quality to the supporters.

It is true that Gakpo’s positional change and inconsistent usage has been a point of confusion for Liverpool supporters and pundits alike. However, it’s worth noting that Klopp is known for his tactical flexibility and willingness to experiment with different formations and player roles. Additionally, injuries and absences of key players such as Nunez and Sadio Mane have likely influenced Klopp’s decisions regarding Gakpo’s positioning.

That being said, the Merseyside derby performance may have provided a glimpse of Gakpo’s potential as a central striker. With his finishing ability and newfound confidence, he may be able to provide a different attacking dimension for the Reds going forward. It remains to be seen whether Klopp will continue to utilize him in this role or revert back to the previous system.

It’s possible that Gakpo’s pace and style of play is different from Nunez’s, and that Liverpool may have adjusted their tactics as a result of his arrival.

However, it’s important to note that tactical adjustments are common in football, and that different players bring different strengths and weaknesses to a team.

It’s also worth considering that Liverpool’s struggles this season may be due to a range of factors, including injuries, poor form, and changes in tactics, rather than just one player’s performance. Ultimately, it will take more time and matches to fully assess Gakpo’s impact on the team.

It’s possible that Gakpo’s arrival has helped Liverpool return to a more balanced and effective attacking style. With Nunez now playing as a wide-forward cutting inside and demonstrating pace, Liverpool’s attack is less predictable and more fluid. Salah is also able to play in his preferred position on the right, allowing Nunez to fill the role previously held by Mane on the left.

Gakpo’s physical attributes make him capable of playing as a central striker and holding off defenders, while his ball skills allow him to turn and run at defenders when he picks up the ball in deeper positions.

This could potentially make him a taller and quicker version of Roberto Firmino, who is known for his ability to drop deep and link up play. Ultimately, it remains to be seen how Gakpo will continue to fit into Liverpool’s attacking system, but his versatility and skill set could make him an important player for the team.

It seems that Liverpool’s recent performance against Everton has shed some light on the questions surrounding the signing of Gakpo. Despite initial confusion over his usage, the Dutch forward has started to show his value by being able to play in central positions, hold off defenders, and link up play.

This has allowed Liverpool to return to a more traditional attacking style, with their front three utilizing their pace on the counter and finishing ability, while also getting the best out of their attacking full-backs. With the potential return of Firmino, Jota, and Diaz from injury, Klopp now has multiple options for his front three and the unpredictability that comes with it.

It is still early days, but Liverpool’s attempted revival with Gakpo is showing signs of progress.

Liverpool have just replaced Sadio Mane in a way no-one saw coming

Liverpool have just replaced Sadio Mane in a way no-one saw coming

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