Cody Gakpo’s Liverpool debut could be delayed as he gets up to speed with Jurgen Klopp’s demands on Merseyside.
The Reds confirmed a deal to sign Gakpo, subject to a medical, on Wednesday with the Netherlands international to officially join the club on 1 January when the transfer window opens.
Liverpool’s first game of 2023 sees them take on Brentford in the capital on 2 January but their new forward could be made to wait for his debut.
Gakpo scored three times in Netherlands’ World Cup campaign but has barely trained since leaving Qatar, with players who played in the competition granted time off by their clubs.
The 23-year-old only returned to training with PSV Eindhoven after his post-World Cup holiday on Thursday with the Daily Telegraph suggesting his debut for his new side may be delayed in order for him to get up to speed with Klopp’s high-pressing system.
While Liverpool are confident Gakpo has the qualities to adapt to the manager’s demands, it is suggested there could be a ‘period of conditioning’ before he is thrown into the starting XI.
With Luis Diaz ruled out until March and Diogo Jota likely to be unavailable until late January or early February, Gakpo will have the chance to nail down a role on the left of Liverpool’s attack when he is introduced to the team.
Following their meeting with Brentford, Liverpool host Wolves in their FA Cup third round clash on 7 January before travelling to Brighton a week later.
The Reds host Chelsea in their final game of the month on 21 January.
Liverpool take on Manchester United on 4 March where Gakpo will come up against the manager who tried to sign him in the summer in Erik ten Hag.
After spending over £200million on summer transfer business, United found themselves unable to rival Liverpool for Gakpo’s signature with Virgil van Dijk also playing in his part in selling the project to his countryman.
‘We spoke a lot over the phone [in] the last days,’ Gakpo said.
‘What he told me was that this is the right move for me to make and for me to develop and to become a better player, that the club is a really big and massive club but also like a real family – I think that’s also very important for me because I’m a family guy. He said only good things.
‘I’m also happy that he’s here, so he can help me with some stuff. I’m really grateful to be here.’
MORE : Cody Gakpo reveals Virgil van Dijk convinced him to join Liverpool amid Manchester United interest
MORE : Jurgen Klopp speaks out on how Liverpool beat Manchester United to Cody Gakpo signing
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