Manchester United are tracking PSV Eindhoven youngster Cody Gakpo to address their inadequacies up front. PSV director Marcel Brands hinted that there is an agreement in place to allow him to leave on the provision that their asking price is met.
After the loss of Wayne Rooney as a central striker and players such as Juan Mata and the reliable Henrikh Mkhitaryan failing to stay consistent either due to their age or the inability to fit in a United system, the Red Devils have struggled to find players that excel up top in the creative role.
Academy graduate Marcus Rashford made a blistering start to his United career after debuting in the 2015-16 season. The young Manc put on a splendid display, with his best season coming in the 2019-20 season. However, his last season was a disappointing one.
The United academy graduate has looked sharp under new manager Erik ten Hag up till now. Last season, most of the goals came from the sole striker up front, Cristiano Ronaldo but the Portuguese will most certainly leave next season. With Rashford’s contract ending in 2023 and Anthony Martial having injury concerns, United will be looking at reinforcements.
Despite suggesting that a move to United was on the cards, Gakpo stayed put in the Eredivisie and he’s been in superb form at the start of this campaign. Indeed, the Netherlands international has scored 10 goals and laid on nine assists for PSV in 13 games so far across all competitions (stats via transfermarkt), underlining his status on the European stage.
Cody Gakpo has scored 21 goals for PSV while also assisting 15 in 47 appearances in all competitions (stats via transfermarkt). He has spent most of his time playing as the left-winger. His goal involvement figures show that he is very prolific which will be very useful for United.
Cody Gakpo this season: 🇳🇱
🏟 12 Games
⚽️ 9 Goals
🅰️ 6 Assists
⏰ A goal involvement every 80 minutes
The next big thing! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/6WASYe3eC7
— SPORF (@Sporf) September 12, 2022
The 22-year-old Dutchman stands tall with his stature of 6’2 which helps him cover more space while running. He can also hold off defenders with his physical abilities. Moreover, the youngster also scans spaces well which helps him in decision making to burst into spaces. He can also fake dummy movements to trick his opponent, allowing him to let the ball roll across his body to take a shot from distance.
Cody Gakpo is a versatile forward who is comfortable playing in more than one position in the forward line. He can stretch the opposition defence by hugging the touchline. He can also take up positions in the half-spaces to allow full-backs to overlap.
This positional versatility makes it difficult for the defenders to anticipate where he can pick up the ball. Cody Gakpo despite being a left-winger, has played three matches as a centre-forward and has scored 3 goals while also assisting twice in those three games.
Cody Gakpo is also brilliant at linking up with his teammates and playing a quick 1-2. He also likes to lay off the ball and then accelerate to receive the ball. He is very quick with his movement but is also aware of when to slow down the runs to get more time on the ball.
Furthermore, Gakpo is also an excellent dribbler who creates space with his dribbling ability. He likes to invite pressure from one side and then suddenly burst away to the other side. His dribbling allows him the space to turn at the goal. He can strike the ball with good connection even when he has little time and balance. That has been evident from his top-quality finishing this season.
- Arsenal Strong Contenders to Sign Shakhtar Donetsk Winger Mykhaylo Mudryk Soon
- United to Decide on Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s Future in January: Right-back Problem at Hand?
- Mikel Arteta Missed out on a Great Backup Option as Arsenal had Three Deadline Bids Rejected for £40m Rated PL Midfielder
Gakpo’s attacking acumen has earned him starts in the striker role. Perhaps it is best not to label the Dutch youngster only as a left winger or striker.
The 22-year-old forward has a contract with PSV Eindhoven until June 2026. According to The Athletic, both Arsenal and Leeds United have accelerated talks in order to sign the young forward for next season. PSV are willing to let him go if the right offer comes.
Gakpo sure is entertaining to watch. Intelligent dribbling paired with the ability to strike the ball off the dribble is a quality that United have been lacking for a while. Players like Rashford have often been criticized for their decision-making in the final third.
Competitions for positions can either promote healthy development or force players who don’t wish to play for the badge out of the club. Manchester United do want to strengthen their attack and also improve their quality of depth, with Facundo Pellistri, Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga all still being inexperienced in their positions. Cody Gakpo can inject freshness into this Manchester United squad.
Follow AD for the Latest Transfer Updates for Manchester United.