There was plenty of interest in PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo before the World Cup and now the Dutchman’s valuation has soared following some excellent performances in Qatar.
The race now appears to be on to try and land the forward and potential suitors will have to splash the cash to land this rising star of the Dutch game.
Gakpo Announces Himself On Biggest Stage
Scoring in all of the Netherlands’ three Group A games at the 2022 World Cup, Gakpo made headlines with his performances in the Middle East. Those who have followed PSV Eindhoven this season would not have been surprised by the 23-year-old’s impact at the major tournament. Gakpo scored nine goals in his first 14 league appearances of the campaign and has played a key role in PSV’s positive start to the season. Scoring three goals in his first five Europa League appearances too, Gakpo is fast becoming one of the biggest rising talents in Europe.
Unfortunately for the Netherlands and Gakpo, their World Cup journey was to end in the quarter-final stage with a penalty-shootout defeat at the hands of Argentina. It was a cruel way to go out but Gakpo will have learned plenty from his experience in Qatar as his attention returns to club duties with PSV. How long the forward remains at the Philips Stadion remains to be seen.
Leeds Look To Have Missed Their Chance
Even before his efforts at the World Cup this winter, there was plenty of interest in Gakpo’s services over the summer transfer window. English Premier League side Leeds United, who as of December 12th are 9/2 in the football betting to secure a top-10 finish this season, were leading the chase for the player. Reports at the time suggested a contract had been agreed between Gakpo and Leeds but the Whites hierarchy could not agree a deal with PSV. In the end the deal fell through but in the following months Leeds were still linked with Gakpo.
Leeds manager Jesse Marsch touched on the subject of Gakpo in a recent interview and admitted how close they were to signing the Dutch star. The American manager claimed the Whites were “so close” to getting Gakpo’s signature but no agreement could be made between the two clubs. Marsch also admitted that after Gakpo’s performances at the World Cup that a future deal for the forward to head to Elland Road seems highly unlikely. With his talents on show to the world in Qatar, a host of clubs playing in Europe have taken an interest in Gakpo. Leeds can’t offer European football for the foreseeable future, while the player’s valuation will have skyrocketed this winter. It looks like that ship has sailed for Leeds and they will have to look to different targets.
Rivals Now Lead The Chase
To only add insult to injury, Leeds’ old rivals Manchester United are one of the frontrunners to bring Gakpo away from PSV in the future. With the Red Devils’ Erik ten Hag at the helm, the Dutchman has been happy to sign players from the Eredivisie to strengthen his side at Old Trafford. Tyrell Malacia and Antony were signed for the Dutch top flight over the summer, with many others also linked. Gakpo has now been connected with a massive move to Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, the Premier League frontrunners before the World Cup break Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Gakpo. With first-choice striker Gabriel Jesus suffering an injury while at the major tournament with Brazil, the Gunners are thought to be keen on bringing in a player to fill the void. While United might have looked at moving for Gakpo in the summer, Arsenal’s requirement for the PSV star appears to be more urgent. Whether either club makes a move for Gakpo in January remains to be seen. Everton and Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich are also thought to have taken an interest.
The 2022 World Cup was a big tournament for Gakpo and the clamour for his signature only seems set to increase for this talented rising star, who looks to have the world at his feet.