Liverpool have got a replacement for Sadio Mane, but he is nowhere near Mane’s level
Since Sadio Mane left Liverpool in the summer, the team has had a hard time finding someone to replace him, but they may have found someone now. Since he joined Liverpool a month ago, Cody Gakpo has done more to raise questions than to answer them.
Why didn’t the Reds spend the 37 million pounds on a more important midfielder instead of him? Why did they buy another left-sided striker when they already had Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, and Darwin Nunez? And why are they putting the Uruguayan, who is usually a number nine, on the wing while using the Dutch winger, who they bought for £64 million, as their centre attacker? Someone asked this question.
Some people were confused by every choice, but others were even more confused by Liverpool’s recent play and the forward’s lack of impact during his first few weeks on Merseyside. Even Reds legend Jamie Carragher is willing to admit that his old team’s recent signing of the Dutchman threw him off.
Gakpo signed with Liverpool much later than the Colombian did, and Jurgen Klopp had already told Kopites that the 23-year-old would not have the same immediate impact as Diaz did at Anfield a year earlier. Gakpo started playing for Liverpool at a much tougher time than Diaz did. But that didn’t stop the German from praising the finishing skills of his new striker, a Dutch international, as soon as he joined the team.
Since Gakpo joined the team, the Reds’ play has gotten a lot worse, so Kopites couldn’t find any evidence to back up his claim, which is too bad for him. After all, Liverpool would only score four goals in their first six games, and two of those goals came in their FA Cup debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The only time they won was when they played again at Molineux.
Since he didn’t score or help in any of those six games, it’s not surprising that the 23-year-old didn’t make much of a difference in how they turned out. In those six games, they took 13 shots, but only four of them were good. Seven of those shots were made in just one game, the scoreless draw with Chelsea.
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As if the lack of stability wasn’t bad enough, he started as a central striker between Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho in the FA Cup replay against the West Midlands team, even though he started on the left with Nunez in the middle and Mohamed Salah on the right in his debut against Wolves, as was expected. Then, he played up front with the Egyptians when his team lost 3-0 at Brighton. On the left was Nunez, and in the middle was Mohamed Salah.
Even though Salah is feeling better, Gakpo will still be the centre forward against Chelsea. Liverpool lost to Brighton and was knocked out of the FA Cup. The same three players stayed on the field, but Elliott moved to the left side. Fans have kept criticizing Klopp for signing the Dutchman and for putting him on the field in the first place, so it’s not surprising that he had trouble getting into a rhythm.
But in Monday’s win over Everton in the Merseyside Derby, the attacker finally unlocked his account after seven requests, and it looks like he may be giving some answers now.