EPL

Gakpo's Liverpool debut might be delayed by New Year holiday, says Klopp

By Sports Desk December 29, 2022

Jurgen Klopp is delighted by Liverpool's swift signing of Cody Gakpo but knows the forward will likely be made to wait for his debut.

The Reds concluded a transfer reportedly worth around £37million (€42m) for the Netherlands international as their first piece of business for the mid-season window, which opens officially on January 1.

With New Year's Day falling on Sunday, it means there will be a national holiday on Monday, and based on other dealings in the past, it is unlikely the move would be ratified in time for Gakpo to make his debut that day against Brentford.

Though he was delighted to get a deal over the line, Klopp knows it might not be until January 7, against Wolves in the FA Cup, that he can call on the 23-year-old.

"There might be a chance for him against Brentford but not really, I think," Klopp said in a press conference on Thursday ahead of Liverpool's Premier League meeting with Leicester City.

"January 1 is a bank holiday, all the papers that need to be signed will have to be signed on the second by lunchtime, so I'm not too positive on that.

"We will not rush it, so he will probably be ready for Wolves."

Gakpo had a fine World Cup, scoring three times for the Netherlands, as he took his club form onto the international stage.

Since the start of the 2021-22 season, no player registered more goal involvements in the Eredivisie than Gakpo's 46 (21 goals, 25 assists). In fact, no other player in Europe's top 10 leagues has tallied both 20+ goals and 20+ assists over the same period.

"He's a really, really good player, so the package was very interesting," said Klopp.

"The potential he has and the quality he has shown already, in Holland and with the national team as well, makes him a really interesting player and that's why we were very interested to get him in.

"I'm really happy that we could do it, it's big for us and it's big for him as well. He's delighted about joining us, it's a great day."

Gakpo's arrival at Anfield comes amid speculation over Roberto Firmino's future at the club, as he edges towards the end of his deal, but Klopp's desire to keep the Brazil international has not waned.

"Not for me. We have talked with Bobby, from my point of view I definitely want him to stay. It has no impact [for me]," he said.

"You'd have to ask him but from my point of view, no."

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