Van Dijk backs new signing Gakpo to handle the pressure at Liverpool but insists he'll 'need time'

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Gakpo - Van Dijk Netherlands
Virgil van Dijk has backed new Liverpool signing Cody Gakpo to deal with the pressure of signing for the Reds as he prepares to make his debut.
  • Gakpo poised to make Liverpool debut
  • Backed by international team-mate Van Dijk
  • Signed off the back of three goals at World Cup

WHAT HAPPENED? In typical fashion, Liverpool moved with lightning speed to sign Gakpo from under the nose of Manchester United late last month. The Dutch winger's arrival has been met with much excitement on Merseyside and international team-mate Van Dijk has backed him to handle the pressure of signing for the Reds.

WHAT HE SAID: "I think he'll handle it fine but you have no idea what it's like until you are under this sort of pressure," Van Dijk said, as quoted by The Mirror. "He'll have to keep his head down and look at what we are doing as a group, and listen to the manager, listen to the players around you and don't listen too much to the outside world because you can be one of the best in the world one day and one of the worst the next. It's never something in the middle. He has to stay calm and I think he'll do that. He's that type of person.

"I think he can be very good for us. I feel like he will and he probably needs a bit of time. We need quality players and we need players who can decide games and I think over time he can definitely be one of those players, hopefully."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Klopp will no doubt be happy about the arrival of Gakpo as Liverpool continue to falter this season. A 3-1 away loss to Brentford in their first fixture of 2023 coincided with an injury to centre-back stalwart Van Dijk - who is out for a month - but the FA Cup gives Liverpool a chance to get their season back on track, and the fans their first glimpse of the new signing.


Cody Gakpo Liverpool

Cody Gakpo Virgil Van Dijk Netherlands

Gakpo Netherlands World Cup 2022

WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL? The Reds take on Wolves in the FA Cup third round at Anfield on Saturday night as they look to begin their defence of the trophy they won last season. Following that, huge Premier League clashes against Brighton, Chelsea and Everton are on the horizon.