‘We were so close’ – £120k-p/w Liverpool star almost ended up elsewhere in the Premier League

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Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo was on the brink of joining another Premier League club in 2022, according to a claim from one chief executive within the top flight.

The Dutchman clinched a £35m move to Anfield just before the start of the January transfer window, although Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has said that his club had a deal “done” with the 23-year-old before an untimely intervention from his then-national team coach.

Speaking to DAZN (via Fabrizio Romano on Twitter), the Whites chief said: “We were so close to sign Cody Gakpo. It was done on August Deadline Day, done with PSV too. Then it collapsed because of Van Gaal.

Van Gaal called Gakpo and told him to wait for because of the World Cup… then he joined #LFC

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Gakpo himself has spoken about just how close he had been to signing for Leeds last year, and Liverpool supporters might just be retrospectively thanking Louis van Gaal for apparently advising him to hang tough ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

The collapse of a prospective move to Elland Road duly allowed the Reds to swoop for the £120,000-per-week (as per FBREF) earner towards the tail end of 2022, and Jurgen Klopp’s team are now reaping the rewards.

The Dutchman had to wait until his seventh appearance for the Merseysiders to bag his first goal, but then netted in successive games against Everton and Newcastle to open his account for his new club (as per Transfermarkt).

Gakpo’s immediate influence at Liverpool is reflected in his ranking among the top four players at Anfield for shots taken (2.1), fouls drawn (1.4) and dribbles completed (0.7) per game (as per WhoScored), illustrating the threat that he poses in the final third.

What a delicious irony it would be if, following on from Crysencio Summerville’s late winner for Leeds in their triumph over the Reds last October, another Dutch attacker were to score the decisive goal in the reverse fixture in mid-April against the club who had seemingly been on the brink of signing him…

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