HomeBetting TipsCould EURO 2024 Prove to Be Cody Gakpo’s Penny Drop Moment in...

Could EURO 2024 Prove to Be Cody Gakpo’s Penny Drop Moment in the EPL?

According to those who have followed his career closely, Arne Slot is the ideal successor to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

The Dutchman has a similar footballing philosophy to his predecessor at Anfield, built around a similarly fluid 4-3-3 formation, inverted fullbacks, and a high-pressing style.

It’s possible that Slot and Klopp could differ on how they see Liverpool’s personnel, however, not least Cody Gakpo, who was rarely been given a consistent starting berth by Klopp – indeed he played everywhere from left wing to striker to central midfielder in 2023/24.

Gakpo’s progress at EURO 2024 has been similarly versatile, however many of his best performances have come from the left flank – will Slot finally give his fellow Dutchman a settled starting berth at Anfield?

Dutchie on the Left-Hand Side

Heading into the semi-final stage of EURO 2024, the latest football odds from Paddy Power had Gakpo down as the 15/8 favourite to win the tournament’s Golden Boot.

The Dutch were less fancied in the EURO 2024 winner odds, still available at 5/1 heading into their last four clash with England, but there’s no doubt that Gakpo’s status had risen on the back of the Netherlands’ – and his, primarily – performances.

Three goals, an assist, and a trio of Man of the Match awards were the output of the player’s first five games at the tournament – all of which came while playing as an inside forward on the left.

It’s not a position that Klopp often fielded the Dutchman in, with the German favouring Luis Diaz and occasionally Darwin Nunez from that side.

It seems inevitable that Slot would have been watching his countrymen in action at the EUROs, with the performances of Gakpo and Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk enough to make him feel rather bullish about his maiden season at Anfield.

The Rebuild

Long term, the goal will be to once again challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title.

But first, Slot must establish Liverpool as the best of the rest – a mantle taken over with some gusto by Arsenal in recent seasons.

There will also need to be a rebuild, of sorts, with a number of key players at Anfield now into their thirties – Andy Robertson (30), Alisson (31), Wataru Endo (31), Mo Salah (32) and van Dijk (33) all entering that phase of their career in which questions start to be asked if a series of below-par performances are put in.

Slot was able to coax 29 goals out of 33-year-old Luuk de Jong in PSV’s romp to the Dutch Eredivisie title in 2023/24, which suggests he’s able to help veterans not only prolong their careers but thrive too.

Otherwise, the average age of his preferred starting eleven at PSV was around 25 – suggesting a preference for fresher legs to carry out his all-action pressing style.

That suggests that it won’t be too long before change is afoot at Anfield; a scenario that will leave Slot needing to make tough decisions that the Reds fanbase may not like in some cases.

But with the likes of Gakpo thriving, at least the future is bright.

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