Klopp sends Liverpool star a ‘stay calm’ message ahead of Cody Gakpo’s Anfield arrival in the New Year

Liverpool fans were as surprised as many Manchester United fans to learn that Cody Gakpo has decided to go to Merseyside, but one player who may not be as happy as his fans is Darwin Nunez.

The Uruguayan has impressed many Anfield fans but has drawn criticism from others farther away, and many of these onlookers may believe that the arrival of the Dutch international might herald the end of the former Benfica forward’s days in the starting lineup.

Jurgen Klopp seemed to send a very deliberate message to his big-money striker in his Boxing Day press conference (as relayed on the club’s official website), and the 55-year-old said: “He’s unstoppable when we keep the ball and pass it in the right moment, there’s no defender who can really catch up speed-wise.

“I know all the tales about and it’s all good but we are fully calm, everything will be OK. He played a terrific game, and we won 3-1, which is all that matters.

“I haven’t been in the business since yesterday, and I’ve had some strikers around. I understand that early scoring is unimportant. There are many more essential things to worry about. You just have to keep your cool.”

It looks that if the 23-year-old adds more composure to his game, he will soon become a true goal threat, but there appears to be no plans to take him out of the spotlight for the time being.

Given the present injury issues with Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, and Bobby Firmino, the German will most likely employ his summer signing alongside Mo Salah and the new Eredivisie forward in the short term.

It will then be up to the players to demonstrate who deserves to start full-time for the Reds as they aim to catch up to those at the top of the league.

“All the way to the moon and back!” Virgil van Dijk’s comments on Cody Gakpo

PSV Eindhoven have confirmed the departure of top forward Cody Gakpo to Liverpool, and Virgil van Dijk’s recent remarks imply the Reds have landed a real bargain.

The dust had hardly cleared following the 3-1 triumph against Aston Villa on Boxing Day when unexpected transfer news broke.

Liverpool went from being widely connected with a bid for Gakpo to PSV confirming a potential £40 million transfer in less than an hour.

The 23-year-old seems like a tremendously exciting addition for the Reds, having not only scored 13 goals and 14 assists for PSV this season, but also scoring three times for the Netherlands at the 2022 World Cup.

Van Dijk was Gakpo’s captain in Qatar, and during the tournament, the Liverpool great spoke lyrical about his international colleague.

“Hopefully Cody will be able to go to the moon and return,” Van Dijk added. “He’s a great player and a great kid.

“What we see in practice is what you see on the field,” he says. There is still so much potential, and I hope he can continue to demonstrate it for us. We’re quite pleased with him.”

It’s unclear whether Van Dijk was aware of a prospective transfer to Liverpool for Gakpo at the time, but hearing him express such glowing praise is heartening.

During the World Cup, Van Dijk slammed his colleague’s probable move to Manchester United, implying that he had a larger “next step” in him.

Van Dijk was questioned about the likelihood of his team-mate joining either Real Madrid or Man United, repling: “Are Manchester United and Real Madrid on the same level at this moment? No offense intended.

“I believe he has a next step in him. I have a strong feeling that may happen. Time will tell if it happens this winter or next year.

“But he’s a nice child, works hard, is incredibly gifted and there’s obviously more in him.

“We’re thrilled he’s doing so well, and we hope it continues.”

More recently, just hours before the news of a contract emerged, Van Dijk told reporters after the Villa win that he hoped “we can welcome some new players at our football club” [in January] and that “talent is always welcome.”

It would not be surprising if Van Dijk had a significant effect on Gakpo’s decision to join Liverpool over some of their competitors, having no doubt marketed the Reds to him.

At 23, the PSV talisman has the potential to be the next offensive Anfield star, capable of wreaking havoc both wide and centrally.

With Luis Diaz sidelined for the foreseeable future, the left side was in desperate need of reinforcements, which Gakpo will hopefully fill to perfection.