The €42 million January signing was thrust into a new position straight away at Liverpool.
Cody Gakpo, who built his reputation as a left winger at PSV Eindhoven, is now keen to step up in his new center-forward role for the Netherlands.
The 24-year-old is set to lead the Dutch front line for Wednesday’s UEFA Nations League semi-final against Croatia, as a calf injury has ruled Memphis Depay out. He adapted more to the role of a striker at Liverpool following his January arrival from PSV.
“At the last World Cup, I was already more central on the field and at Liverpool permanently in the past six months. It’s been good,” Gakpo said on Sunday.
“I’m excited now to get better in the position in the near future, for the club as well as the national team.”
The former PSV star revealed several coaches had previously tried to persuade him to change from being a left winger to a striker, but he had resisted. That was until Jurgen Klopp called him into the office for a pep talk.
Recalling his chat with the Liverpool manager, Gakpo added: “He said what he wanted from me. In the beginning, of course, it took some getting used to, but I’ve enjoyed playing in that position in recent months.”
Gakpo has supplied seven goals and three assists across 26 games in his opening six months at Liverpool.