PSV Eindhoven has confirmed the departure of star striker Cody Gakpo to Liverpool, and recent comments by Virgil van Dijk suggest that the Reds are signing a pearl.
As soon as the dust settled after the 3-1 victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day, huge transfer news came out of nowhere.
In about an hour, Liverpool went from being closely linked with Gakpo’s move to a potential £40 million deal confirmed by PSV.
The 23-year-old looks like a very exciting acquisition for the Reds: he not only scored 13 goals and made 14 assists for PSV this season, but also scored three goals at the 2022 World Cup for the Netherlands.
The captain of the Gakpo in Qatar was Van Dijk, and, speaking during the tournament, the Liverpool legend spoke lyrically about his international teammate.
“Hopefully Cody will be able to go to the moon and back,” Van Dijk said. “He is a very good player and a good boy.
“What we see in training is what you see on the pitch. He still has so much potential and I hope he will continue to show it to us. We are very happy with him.”
Whether Van Dijk knew about the potential transfer of Gakpo to Liverpool at that time is still unknown, but to hear such enthusiastic reviews from him is encouraging.
Also during the World Cup, Van Dijk cast a shadow over the possible transfer of his colleague to United, suggesting that he has a more important “next step”.
Van Dijk was asked about the prospects of his teammate moving to Real Madrid or Manchester United, and he replied: “Are Manchester United and Real Madrid on the same level now? No disrespect, no.
“I think he definitely has the next step in him. I definitely feel like this could happen. Whether it will happen in winter or next year, time will tell.
“But he’s a great boy, he works hard, he’s very talented, and there’s definitely more to him.
“We are very happy that he is doing so well, and may it continue for a long time.”
However, speaking quite recently, just a few minutes before the deal was announced, Van Dijk certainly knew about this step, telling reporters after the victory over Villa that he hoped that “we will be able to welcome new players to our football club” [in January]. and that “quality is always welcome.”
It is not surprising if Van Dijk had a huge impact on Gakpo by choosing to join Liverpool rather than some of their rivals, no doubt selling him the idea of the Reds.
At the age of 23, the PSV mascot can become the next attacking hero of Anfield, capable of wreaking havoc both on the flanks and in the central attack zones.
Since Luis Diaz is out for the foreseeable future, this left side needed reinforcement, and Gakpo will hopefully fill this gap to perfection.