Connect with us

Premier LEague

Is Cody Gakpo the solution to Arsenal’s striker problem?

Published

on


PSV Eindhoven’s 22-year old Cody Gakpo is the latest player from the Eredivisie to cause a stir amongst the European clubs.

Arsenal are said to have been leading the race to sign Gakpo with the likes of Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich also interested.

The North Londoners are now hunting for a new forward after the exit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to FC Barcelona during the January transfer window. Also possibly following the Gabonese striker are Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah whose contracts are up in the summer.

The links to Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak have now started to fade away while Dusan Vlahovic has now joined Italian heavyweights Juventus for a fee around €70 million, plus €10 million in performance-related bonuses. Other targets like Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin are also linked for a move to the Emirates Stadium.

CODY GAKPO: EARLY YEARS

Embed from Getty Images

PSV Eindhoven along with their rivals AFC Ajax are renowned to churn out talents from their academies or signing players with high potential from a very young age. Some of Boeren’s academy prospects include the likes of Arjen Robben and Memphis Depay while Donyell Malen and Spurs forward Steven Bergwijn have made their bright starts to their professional careers through PSV. Cody Gakpo seems to be the latest prospect to join this list.

An Eindhoven-born Dutch national, Gakpo joined PSV’s youth academy in 2007 and progressed through the club’s various youth sides. From a very young age, Gakpo has demonstrated the potential of becoming a renowned goalscorer scoring 17 goals in 26 appearances across three seasons for the Jong PSV, the club’s reserve team. First-team coach, Mark van Bommel noticed his talents and decided to hand him his first senior start even when he was a teen against Excelsior Maassluis in the KNVB Cup, scoring on his debut. The following season Gakpo had seven goals and as many assists in 25 league games of 2019-20 season in what be his breakthrough campaign. Even Frank de Boer could not ignore his performances and he was included in the Dutch’s 23-man squad for UEFA Euro 2020.

STYLE OF PLAY

Embed from Getty Images

Standing at an enormous 6 ft 2 in, you will be forgiven to think that Gakpo is just target man. He is versatile, unpredictable and his movement on the pitch makes a difficult player to mark. His flexibility to play in any position in the front line means he fill up multiple holes if the manager decides to. Along with excellent spatial awareness he is an excellent dribbler of the ball, completing 3 dribbles per match. 

WILL HE FIT THE WAY ARSENAL PLAY?

Embed from Getty Images

The signs are already there for Gakpo to be a future superstar. His 9 goals and 13 assists have helped PSV just be two points behind the much more talented AFC Ajax side. It seems like Arsenal’s number one priority will be to sign a forward who will complement the likes of Saka, Martinelli, Ødegaard & Smith Rowe. Alexandre Lacazette has done an excellent job in doing so, becoming more reserved as a striker and allowing his teammates to focus on their offensive game.

The Gunners under Arteta are clearly expected to press high and hard, dominate possession, and spread evenly horizontally and vertically across the pitch in Guardiola-esque demarcated zones, with plenty of positional rotation used to confound the opposition. While Cody Gakpo is clearly a great offensive player but his defensive side of the game clearly needs some enhancement. Even PSV Director of Football, John de Jong, told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf,

“If you look at Liverpool players like Mane and Salah, he still has a lot to learn. They are not only great footballers, but they also defend, Gakpo still has to improve on that point.”

Lacazette clearly works very hard for his team making 2 tackles & interceptions while Gakpo defensive output sits at just 1.2 per game. Also the French forward has made 308 pressure with success rate of 31% while Gakpo has made just 57 pressures with a success rate of 28%. So clearly it seems like Gakpo is not instructed to do a lot of pressing in his team while Lacazette is instructed to do so. But Arteta can mold him in the player he wants and at tender age of just twenty-two he is ready to step up.

He still has a contract up till 2026 and Transfermarkt values him at £22.50m. Instead of pursing more expensive options like Isak, David and Calvert-Lewin, Edu can once again strike a bargain deal and bring this talented forward to red side of North London before some else does!

Talking about bargain deals, Arsenal are also targeting another striker who can prove a bargain in Ivan Toney, and he can just be one of most under-rated option in papers!












Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Premier LEague

Raphinha reportedly requests Leeds to let him join Barcelona

Published

on

By


Raphinha-Barcelona-Transfer-Request

Raphinha has expressed his intention to join FC Barcelona during the summer transfer window, according to Spanish daily SPORT. After guaranteeing the Peacocks’ Premier League position, the Brazilian international has requested a transfer to Camp Nou from Leeds United.

The Brazilian has made great strides since joining Leeds United from Stade Rennais in October 2020. After two seasons with the Peacocks, the 25-year-old has established himself as the club’s talisman and one of the Premier League’s most dangerous attackers.

Embed from Getty Images

The 25-year-old was the guiding light for Leeds as they avoided relegation in the 2021/22 season, scoring 11 goals and providing three assists in 35 Premier League outings. Raphinha is eager to join Barcelona after helping Leeds stay in the Premier League this season.

Xavi has made him one of Barcelona’s top targets for the summer transfer season and is eager to bring the player to Spain. Barcelona’s interest in the player makes sense, given that Ousmane Dembele’s future at Camp Nou is uncertain due to prolonged contract negotiations. He is a feasible option for Barcelona even if Dembele remains at Camp Nou, as the Blaugrana are unlikely to sign Adama Traore on a permanent basis and the Brazilian is eager to join Barcelona during the summer transfer window.

Leeds United, on the other hand, recently rejected the Catalan giants’ bid to acquire their talisman. Raphinha, on the other hand, is adamant about moving to Camp Nou and has encouraged the West Yorkshire club to allow him his desired transfer.

It is uncertain how Leeds would react, but allowing Raphinha to join Barcelona will most certainly help them earn finances for their summer business. At the same time, rather than engaging in a bitter war, the two sides will part ways on favourable terms. The player has contributed to Leeds’ Premier League survival and handing him the move to Barcelona will be done in good faith.





Source link

Continue Reading

Premier LEague

Diego Llorente called-up for Spain as Laporte replacement

Published

on

By


Diego-Llorente-called-up-Spain

Leeds United had to dig deep to secure their Premier League status, and despite their season round abstruse defensive problems at Elland Road – one man stood out time and time again, be it putting in those last grace tackles or getting those crucial touches from a dead ball – Diego Llorente was at it to close down the season on a high.

His performances are rewarded by a call-up for Spain for their upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures against Portugal followed by Czech Republic next month.

Manchester City’s French-born defender Aymeric Laporte was initially called up by La Roja manager Luis Enrique although he was forced to withdraw from the squad with an injury and Diego Llorente was called up to take up his place in the squad next month.

Selección Española de Fútbol’s official website on Wednesday confirmed Enrique’s decision to call Diego up, who will join his national teammates for training at the Ciudad del Fútbol on May 30th.

Diego Llorente was among the names called up by Luis Enrique for the European championship last summer – although he finished the summer without making an appearance and then he wasn’t looked at for the majority of the last year.

Now, Llorente finally has his chance to make his place in Enrique’s long term plans, especially with World Cup right around the corner.

MUST READ: Leeds United agree $30m deal with Red Bull Salzburg for Brenden Aaronson





Source link

Continue Reading

Award ceremony

Lurgen Klopp named Premier League Manager of the Year

Published

on

By


Football News: Jurgen Klopp is among one of the best football managers in the world.

The German started his managerial career with FC Mainz in 2001 before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2008. He became a household name during his time at Signal Iduna Park.

He helped the Dortmund-based club win two Bundesliga titles, one DFB-Pokal and two DFL-Supercups. Klopp also guided the BVB to the UEFA Champions League final in 2013, where they eventually lost to Bayern Munich.

The now 54-year old manager joined Liverpool as manager midway through the 2015-16 season.

Football News: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been crowned Premier League Manager of the Year

READ MORE: The Cityzens identified Kalvin Philipps as Fernandinho’s replacement

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp lifted the Premier League and League Managers Association Manager of the Year accolades on Tuesday.

The German enjoyed an astonishing campaign with the Reds, winning the FA Cup and EFL Cup. The Merseyside-based club missed out on winning the Premier League title by just one point. They finished one point behind Manchester City, with 92 points from 38 games. Jurgen Klopp will also lead his team against Real Madrid for a UEFA Champions League final at the Stade de France on May 29.

Speaking on stage after winning the award, Klopp said: ‘When you win a prize like this you are either a genius or you have the best coaching staff in the world – and I am here with all of my coaching staff, they know how much I appreciate them.’

READ MORE: Ten Hag knows he taking United over at their weakest

He collected the award from former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who joked: ‘This is agony, absolute agony’ while handing him the trophy.

The Reds eye Ibrahim Sangare

According to reports, the Reds have lost the race to sign AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouaméni. The France international is set to join La Liga side Real Madrid.

The Merseyside-based club have identified PSV midfielder Ibrahim Sangare as an alternative to the Monaco star. Sangare has established himself among the best midfielders in the Eridiviese since joining PSV from Toulouse in 2020.

He played 29 league games during the recently concluded season, scoring two and assisting three goals. Sangare is a midfield powerhouse who is composed with his passing and strong with his tackling. According to WhoScored, he averaged 3.3 tackles, 2.6 interceptions and 70 passes per 90 in the Dutch top division during the 2021-22 season.

The Ivory Coast international reportedly have a release clause of £37.5 million in his current contract. However, the Reds are likely to face competition from Newcastle United, Leicester City and Chelsea for his signature.

A banner



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending