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Striker Gakpo reaches 3 goals and becomes the star of the Netherlands in the Qatar Cup


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One of the highlights of Barcelona (ESP), striker Memphis Depay arrived at the World Cup in Qatar as the main star of the Dutch attack. Three games later, however, he finds himself in the shadow of a teammate, left winger Cody Gakpo.

Even before the World Cup, the 23-year-old Gakpo was already in the sights of English clubs due to his technical growth in the last two seasons for PSV Eindhoven, in his hometown.

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After the Cup, the tendency is for harassment to increase against the player, who has assumed responsibility for the Dutch attack in Qatar. He became the country’s first player to score a goal in his first three World Cup appearances. And he is also the fourth to score for the third consecutive time in football’s top competition, after Johan Neeskens (1974), Dennis Bergkamp (1994) and Wesley Sneijder (2010).

Right-handed, the attacker usually acts on the left side of the attack. His main move is to cut into the middle and dribble past opponents until he finds space to finish. However, in the Cup duels he showed his versatility and also scored with a header and a left leg.

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He opened the scoring in the Netherlands’ 2-0 win over Senegal on his debut with a header. Then, left-handed, he scored the only goal in the 1-1 draw with Ecuador and finished with the right to score the first in the 2-0 victory over Qatar, this Tuesday (29), which guaranteed the leadership of Group A and the place in the round of 16.

With the three goals, Gakpo leads the list of top scorers in the Cup alongside Enner Valencia (Ecuador), Kylian Mbappé (France) and Rashford (England).

Called up from the under-18 selection, the 1.93 m and 75 kg athlete made his debut in the main team on June 21 last year, in the Dutch victory by 3-0 over North Macedonia, for the Euro Cup. Since then, he has participated in 12 games (9 as a starter) and scored 6 goals.

This season, he has 17 goals and 18 assists in 29 appearances for the Netherlands and PSV.

Gakpo is the middle child of Johnny Gakpo, born in Togo and of Ghanaian descent, and Ank Gakpo, who is Dutch. His father was a soccer player for his country’s national team, while his mother was a rugby player and later a secondary school teacher. His brothers are Sidney, the eldest, and Ducferre, the youngest. Both also try their hand at football: Sidney at RPC Eindhoven and Ducferre at PSV’s youth team.

According to the Dutch press, three English clubs have already shown interest in Cody. In the mid-year international transfer window, including, he was almost traded by PSV.

“Manchester United expressed interest at the start of the transfer period. But after that it took a long time,” PSV director John De Jong told Voetbal International. “We had talks with United between games against Rangers. Then it seemed to get more concrete but that disappeared and by the end of the window the option to sell him to United was gone.”

Southampton would also have made a proposal of BRL 127 million, but it was rejected by PSV. The other interested club, Leeds United, even sent the director of football, Victor Orta, to Eindhoven, but the parties also did not reach an agreement.

In the end, Gakpo remained at his parent club, with which he won a Dutch League title, two Dutch Super Cups and a Dutch Cup, and has a contract until June 2026.

“Everybody knows how I feel here. But of course there are other things at stake and I think you should have all the options. I did that too. In the end PSV came up with a good offer that seemed like the right choice,” commented Gakpo after the window closed.

However, with football shown in Qatar, by January he should already be wearing the shirt of a Premier League club. It only remains to know which one.

Who is he

Cody Mathès Gakpo

Born: Eindhoven, on 5/7/1999 (23 years old)
1.93 m and 75 kg
Titles: One Dutch League, two Dutch Super Cups and one Dutch Cup

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