Who is Cody Gakpo? Netherlands star’s international stats, age, height, club and latest Man Utd transfer news
The Netherlands currently sit top of Group A with four points from two matches
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The Netherlands were predicted to have a positive World Cup campaign after failing to qualify in 2018. Louis Van Gaal has a number of stars on his roster with the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong expected to make an impact. However, it has been young Cody Gakpo that has lit up the tournament so far.
V will wait to find out their fate ahead of the World Cup knockout stage as they face Qatar in their final group stage fixture today. The Dutchmen picked up a comfortable 2-0 win in their opener against Senegal, but were held to a draw by Ecuador four days later. Despite failing to confirm their place in the knockouts with a match to spare, Gakpo remained the name on everyone’s lips after two stellar performances in Qatar so far.
As well as plenty of shock results and excitement, major tournaments always bring us at least one breakout star that goes onto be linked with Europe’s biggest clubs. Here is everything you need to know about rising star Cody Gakpo...
Who is Cody Gakpo?
Cody Gakpo is a 23-year-old winger who plays for Eredivisie club PSV and the Netherlands national team. Born in Eindhoven, the 6 ft 2 star joined PSV’s youth academy in 2007 until he progressed up to the Jong PSV side - their reserve team that compete in the Dutch second division.
After scoring seven goals in 12 games during the 2017-18 season for the reserves, Gakpo made his first team debut in a 3-1 win over Feyenoord in February 2018. It wasn’t until the 2019-20 season that he made his breakthrough in the Eredivisie - recording seven goals and providing seven assists. He has continued to excel in the Netherlands ever since, claiming an impressive 25 goal contributions in the Eredivisie last season as he helped his side lift the KNVB Cup and the Johan Cruyff Shield - as well as claiming the Dutch Footballer of the Year award and the Eredivisie Player of the Month on two occasions.
Gakpo looks set to have his best season yet in the current campaign, having already scored nine goals and assisted another 12 in only 14 league games so far - only four less goal contributions than his previous season tally.
Gakpo rose up through the youth ranks of the Netherlands international team, netting five goals in nine matches at the EURO U21 tournament. His impressive form with PSV later earned him a call-up to the senior side for Euro 2020, where he went onto make his debut in the third group stage match against North Macedonia - becoming the first Netherlands player to make his international debut at a European Championship since Martien Vreijsen in 1980.
The 23-year-old scored his first international goal in his third appearance for the Netherlands, netting in a 4-0 World Cup qualifier win over Montenegro last September. He went onto score two goals in two games during their Nations League campaign over the summer and has now extended his record to four in four, after bagging two in his first World Cup with the senior squad.
Latest transfer news
Cody Gakpo’s brilliant 2021-22 season led to heavy interest from the Premier League, with Manchester United, Leeds United and Southampton all keen on his services. A move to Old Trafford fell through when the Red Devils instead chose to join Ajax’s Antony, before it was revealed he was close to joining the Whites until he instead opted to remain at PSV.
It was reported that Gakpo was available for between £34 and £38 million - however his asking price is likely to have shot up since the World Cup began. The forward looks increasingly likely to move to the Premier League, with Portuguese journalist Pedro Almeida claiming Gakpo will be a Man United player in January. The Dutchman has reacted to his transfer links by saying: “It’s always nice to hear [transfer rumours] but I just focus here and do my best.”