Liverpool got hidden boost at Brighton as $45m Jürgen Klopp transfer will help fix issues
Jürgen Klopp’s side are struggling at the moment but Liverpool’s latest transfer showed a glimpse of his exciting quality and what is to come that might just give the club a boost.
Given the number of injuries and Liverpool’s recent form, the heavy drubbing by Brighton came as no surprise to most supporters of the club. Brighton, under Roberto De Zerbi, has become one of the most dangerous teams to face in the Premier League and they completely exploited Jürgen Klopp’s side’s vulnerabilities on the day.
It’s difficult to be optimistic after such a heavy defeat, and with Liverpool sitting so low on the Premier League table, the future looks grim at the moment, with the prospect of the Champions League well and truly slipping away from Klopp’s grasp.
Perhaps what is even more of a concern is that Liverpool does not look particularly likely to make the Europa League or even the Europa Conference League at this stage either. But if Liverpool can take solace from one thing, it will be the positive impact Cody Gakpo made on his first Premier League game, even if it was largely hidden by other issues.
Despite being the freshest member of Liverpool’s first-team squad, Gakpo was undoubtedly the most lively and potent threat for Liverpool going forward. Granted, Liverpool didn’t show too much of a threat to Brighton, but when they did, it was mostly instigated by the forward, signed for an initial $45m (£37m/€42m).
The Dutch international took on the joint most shots (two) in the Liverpool attack, he was the most-fouled player on the pitch (three) and won five out of his six totals duels.
A threat out wide, both of Gakpo’s crosses caused problems for Brighton’s defense, and his movement inside the box was also encouraging. His best run probably came with him setting the ball out wide to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who then delivered a cross to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was virtually unmarked and should have scored after Gakpo drew the defenders away from him with his run into the penalty area.
On another occasion, Gakpo was unfortunate not to score from the rebound of another cross into the box.
That’s not a bad start on his Premier League debut, and while Liverpool will be full of doom and gloom, Gakpo can hold his head high. He showed enough to suggest that with time he will be a dangerous player for Liverpool, and if he was able to offer such a threat in an attack that wasn’t really functioning, the prospect of him offering a similar kind of threat when the Liverpool attack are at their best is mouth-watering.
Having invested a lot of money in his transfer at a time when Liverpool probably would have needed a midfielder the most, Gakpo has a lot of expectation to live up to. But if he can continue making the same runs and causing similar problems to opposition defenders, the pressure will quickly ease off of his shoulders.
It’s hard to find a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel at times like this, but perhaps Gakpo might just be the flicker to give Liverpool hope of something better to come. Another could be Ben Doak, who too was lively after his introduction and who represents a bright future for Liverpool.
The only solace Liverpool has right now is the hope for a better future, and both Gakpo and Doak are a part of that promise, as they proved against Brighton.