Jurgen Klopp is ecstatic that Liverpool were quick to sign Cody Gakpo but knows the striker will likely have to wait for his debut.
The Reds have secured a transfer reportedly worth around £37m (€42m) for the Netherlands national team as their first part of the off-season business, which officially opens on 1 January.
Since New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, this means there will be a national holiday on Monday, and judging by other deals in the past, it is unlikely that the move will be ratified in time for Gakpo to make his debut against Brentford that day.
While he was delighted to make the deal, Klopp knows it may not be until January 7 against Wolves in the FA Cup that he can call up the 23-year-old.
“He might have a chance against Brentford, but I don’t think he really does,” Klopp said at a press conference on Thursday ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Leicester City.
“January 1 is a holiday, all the papers that need to be signed will need to be signed the second, by lunchtime, so I’m not too sure about that.
“We’ll take our time, so he’ll probably be ready for the Wolves.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 28, 2022
Gakpo had a great World Cup, scoring three times for the Netherlands as he took his club form to the international stage.
Since the start of the 2021-2022 season, no player has scored more Eredivisie goals than Gakpo with 46 (21 goals, 25 assists). In fact, no other player in the top 10 European leagues has scored 20+ goals and 20+ assists simultaneously in the same period.
“He is a very, very good player, so the package was very interesting,” Klopp said.
“The potential he has and the quality he has already shown in Holland and also in the national team makes him a really interesting player and that’s why we were very interested in bringing him on board.
“I am very happy that we were able to do this, it is important both for us and for him. He’s excited to join us, it’s a great day.”
Gakpo’s arrival at Anfield comes amid speculation about Roberto Firmino’s future at the club as his contract comes to an end, but Klopp’s desire to keep the Brazil national team has not waned.
“Not for me. We talked to Bobby, from my point of view, I definitely want him to stay. It does not affect [for me],” he said.
“You should have asked him, but from my point of view, no.”