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V. van Dijk

'Give him time' - Van Dijk urges fans to show patience as Liverpool newbie Gakpo adjusts to Premier League

2:32 PM IST 31/12/22
Gakpo Van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk has tempered expectations that Netherlands team-mate Cody Gakpo will hit the ground running after joining Liverpool from PSV.
  • Winger signed after starring at World Cup
  • Joins for around £44 million
  • Van Dijk cools immediate expectations

WHAT HAPPENED? The centre-back has insisted that Gakpo - who was unveiled as a Liverpool player following his £44 million move from PSV on Wednesday - will need time to adapt to the demands of the Premier League and will not necessarily show his best form immediately, having starred in the Eredivisie in 2022-23 and at the World Cup in Qatar.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to Sky Sports, Van Dijk said: "Hopefully [he brings] a lot. A good player, good boy and obviously I know how it is to come in January. We have to give him time, I’m very sure the Liverpool fans will give it time, we’re family and the real ones will always back him. He has to keep his head down, no matter what happens, fight, enjoy the moment and be important for the football club."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Van Dijk also moved to dispel rumours that he had had a big influence on Gakpo choosing to join the Reds over the likes of Manchester United.

"No that was over exaggerated [his role]," he added. "I spoke to him, I can only say good things because I’m here, enjoying my time. We’ve been very successful but the manager said it as well, if it was me it was an easy decision to make, I didn’t need convincing. If there was any questions, I answered them honestly."

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR GAKPO? Having featured prominently at the World Cup in Qatar, Gakpo will be treated like any other returnee and will therefore be given an extended period to integrate with the Liverpool squad. A such, it may be a little while before we see him make his debut.