Arne Slot has major Liverpool decision to make as Cody Gakpo tipped for switch

-Credit: (Image: Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Former Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt says new head coach Arne Slot already has a major decision to get right over his use of Cody Gakpo at Anfield.

But Kuyt believes Slot's knowledge of Gakpo as a star for PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie and the Netherlands national team could mean reverting the forward to the left-wing spot he occupies for the Dutch side.

Gakpo has spent the majority of his time with the Reds as a centre-forward with Jurgen Klopp keen to reinvent the Oranje international into more of a No.9 after his £40m move from PSV in January 2023.

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The versatile Dutchman even operated as a central midfielder at times under Klopp but Gakpo has shone at the European Championship on the left of a Dutch team who will meet England in the semi-final on Wednesday night.

Gakpo has scored three times for Ronald Koeman's men and claimed an assist before having one chalked down as an own goal by Mert Muldur in Saturday's 2-1 win over Turkey and Kuyt thinks Slot has some thinking to do over his plans for his compatriot this season.

"Cody Gakpo is doing really well in this tournament; he's already scored three goals [and] he looks like a player who can score at any moment, which is great for us," Kuyt exclusively told Ladbrokes 1-2-Free.

"He's capable of making an impact from anywhere; I've seen a lot of people compare him to Arjen Robben, but from the opposite wing - he has that ability to cut inside and can score at any time. His assist against Romania was fantastic, too.

"I really like Cody as a Liverpool player. He arrived at a difficult time, really, immediately after the World Cup in 2022, during the winter break. In that moment, Liverpool were dealing with a lot of injuries, and so Jurgen Klopp had to put him straight into the first-team.

"I thought he did quite well early on, but I know as well as anyone that it's a huge step to go from the Eredivisie to the Premier League. He did well in his first six months at the club, and in his second season, again, I thought he had some very good games.

Kuyt added: "Expectations are very high, and I think the best is still to come. One thing he has done at the Euros is show everyone that he's ready to be an important player at the highest level. I think I'm right in saying he's scored 12 goals for Holland, and half of them have come at major tournaments...three in the World Cup and three in the Euros.

"There's a decision to be made now, for the new manager; what is his best position for Liverpool? You can see when he's not playing as a striker, but from the left-hand side, that he can be pretty dangerous.

"The fact is that Cody can play in many different positions, and the good thing about him is that he has the mentality to give his everything, regardless of where the manager puts him. But, if you're asking me, I think he's most dangerous when he's playing on the left. I know Arne Slot, and his style of playing, and I think Cody will fit in excellently... and I'm sure he'll be used out wide."