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Liverpool blamed for “tough” Cody Gakpo start in Premier League

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The Dutch star is yet to reach his peak form at Anfield.

Cody Gakpo could’ve made a better first impression at Liverpool if it wasn’t for the club’s struggles, according to Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman.

The Reds paid £37m to sign Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven in January. However, he struggled to maintain consistency with his performances in Liverpool’s attacking line.

“You have to understand that Gakpo is still a young player,” Koeman told reporters. “When he first went to Liverpool, the team was struggling and that made it difficult for him to make a quick impact.

“If you join a team that is doing well, then you have a chance to come in when the moment is right, but Liverpool needed something quickly and that was tough. You have to give him that time to develop and to adapt to the Premier League because it’s a different level.”

Gakpo has been used by Jurgen Klopp in a number of positions, including the centre-back. However, it seems the 24-year-old needs more time to adapt to English football.

Koeman added: “I know from my time in England that the intensity is much higher than he used to play in Holland but he’s young and he will learn and he will be better, but he has a great future. You can see his quality.”

Liverpool will play against Wolves in their first league game after the international break.