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Liverpool new signing Cody Gakpo has admitted that Virgil van Dijk was incredibly influential in persuading him to make the move to Anfield. The Dutch forward had numerous suitors heading into the January transfer window but the Reds jumped the queue to strike a deal with PSV quickly.
Gakpo was one of the stars of the Qatar World Cup with the Netherlands, scoring three in five appearances, and became one of the most sought after stars in Europe. Manchester United were very interested in acquiring his services from PSV, with Erik ten Hag a long-term admirer of the versatile star.
However, Van Dijk appears to have persuaded his international teammate to join him at Liverpool rather than heading to Old Trafford. Speaking after signing his contract with the Reds, Gakpo said: “At the moment I was calling [in] with the coach, he came into the office of the coach and then he saw me and we chatted a little bit.
“We spoke a lot over the phone [in] the last days. What he told me was that this is the right move for me to make and for me to develop and to become a better player, that the club is a really big and massive club but also like a real family – I think that’s also very important for me because I’m a family guy. He said only good things.
“I’m also happy that he’s here, so he can help me with some stuff. I’m really grateful to be here.”
Gakpo joins Liverpool on a six-year deal, paying Eredivisie side PSV £37million for the services of their new No 18. The prospect will provide versatility in the final third for manager Jurgen Klopp, being able to play as a striker as well as on either wing. He also dropped into the No 10 role whilst at the World Cup, which could prove crucial given that the Reds are very short of options in midfiel.
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