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When will Gakpo come good for Liverpool? Barnes explains what £44m winger needs to succeed at Anfield

15:40 GMT 19/01/2023
Cody Gakpo Liverpool
Cody Gakpo needs Liverpool to be playing with confidence as a collective in order to justify the £44 million ($54m) invested in him, says John Barnes.
  • Dutch forward snapped up from PSV
  • Being eased into Premier League life
  • Nunez another searching for a spark

WHAT HAPPENED? The Netherlands international has become another big-money addition at Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp moving to bring the versatile forward in from Eredivisie outfit PSV. Gakpo had been starring in his homeland, while also catching the eye at the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar, but a slow start has been made to life in England as the 23-year-old waits on a first goal or assist for Liverpool through three appearances.

WHAT THEY SAID: Liverpool legend Barnes, who knows all about life on the flanks, has told BonusCodeBets of what the Dutch star needs to do in order to shine on Merseyside: “Cody Gakpo has come into a team that has not played particularly well at the moment, so he has yet to be able to show what he can do. If Erling Haaland went to Man City while they were inconsistent then Haaland would be inconsistent. We've seen it with Darwin Nunez too. Once Liverpool start to play well, so will Gakpo. He has good ability, great energy and a good attitude and he has obvious talent. Gakpo may play wide but he's not a winger, Liverpool play with a front three, some players play left, right and down the middle. Wingers go down the line and put crosses in like I used to do, but he'll be cutting in and scoring as Mo Salah does. Gakpo can play anywhere in the front three.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Darwin Nunez is another expensive asset at Anfield that is yet to truly fire on all cylinders, but Barnes has no concerns when it comes to the 23-year-old Uruguay international who has brought 10 goals and plenty of chaos to Liverpool’s attack this season. Barnes added: “Darwin Nunez will be a big player for Liverpool, he needs to help Liverpool consistently first before being named a superstar. Nunez has shown everyone his potential, he works hard and has scored a few goals already. Once the team plays more consistently, we'll see Nunez perform better, I have no worries about Nunez because he will turn good. Nunez's injury won't affect Liverpool's consistency because the players who can come in and replace him are good enough to produce results too.”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Liverpool, who have slipped to ninth in the Premier League table, will be back in action on Saturday when playing host to fellow top-four hopefuls Chelsea.