The FIFA World Cup has always been a launching pad for many valuable players throughout time. For athletes, it was one of the best platforms to present themselves to the whole world and then transfer to top clubs. On the other hand, clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and other Elite teams have almost always made at least one transfer after a major final tournament was played. From this point of view, the mercato period in January, which will come shortly after the final in Lusail on December 18th, promises to be perhaps more interesting than ever.
Eredivisie, launching pad for stars. Is Gakpo coming?
The Netherlands is, for example, one of the national teams that has several valuable players in the Eredivisie and whose value can explode in Qatar. The championship has over time delivered world stars, not just Dutch ones, such as Patrick Kluiver, Ronaldo Luís Nazario de Lima, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the examples can go on. A possible future world star is now Cody Gakpo, a 23-year-old winger who plays for PSV Eindhoven. At the time Louis van Gaal announced the squad, he was the top scorer, but also with the most assists. In 13 league matches, he directly contributed to 21 goals, with 9 goals and 12 assists. He participated directly in 50% of the club’s goals. If we take into account his achievements in other competitions, he has already reached 30 goals in which he was directly involved in less than 4 months.
Cody Gakpo has been a promise of Dutch football for some time, but his numbers have improved substantially since the 2021/22 season. Last summer, several clubs wanted to transfer him. Leeds United and Manchester United were among the most insistent and made offers. Leeds would have been willing to pay 45 million euros, but both the Dutch club and the player preferred to wait a little longer… The FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022 was already on the horizon.
Cody Gakpo will be a key player for Netherlands during the World Cup. He is a fascinating player, an atypical winger considering his height, 1.89m. He is a player who has generated excitement, who creates many opportunities for teammates where he plays. Gakpo possesses quite good acceleration and has a variety of passes in the final third. He is a constant threat to opposing defences. He can also become a very good goalscorer, but his profile recommends him more in a number 10 role.
“He loves scoring or making assists. He always has. That’s like his living, you know? But after each game, there was one thing that bothered him, one thing he wanted to talk to me about improving. We had to work on it the next week, and the next. And then there would be something else. That’s Cody,” speaks Twan Scheepers recently to The Athletic, coach that works with Gakpo in the past in youth, now assistant manager to Utrecht.
Gakpo has 3 goals for the Netherlands in 9 games
Gakpo has been part of all the Dutch national youth teams. He made his debut for the senior national team at the last edition of the European Championship. His debut was on 21 June 2021 against North Macedonia. Coady scored his first goal for the Oranje in his third international match, in a World Cup qualifier against Montenegro, right in his hometown of Eindhoven. Meanwhile, the PSV player has collected 9 games and scored 3 goals for the Netherlands.
Very likely, in 2023, the young player will leave PSV Eindhoven, either from January or next summer. It remains to be seen and for what amount of money. The FIFA World Cup will define his value well. If the Netherlands have a good run, and the prospects are that way after the performance of the team since Louis van Gaal took over, the sum of 45 million euros for a transfer of Cody Gakpo will mean a small price.