Jurgen Klopp has praised the work of Liverpool’s sporting director Julian Ward after they completed the signing of Manchester United target Cody Gakpo.
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Gakpo’s move from PSV to Anfield for a reported £37million was confirmed by the Reds on Wednesday night.
The Dutch international had been a long-time target for United and after a successful World Cup campaign it was thought that Erik ten Hag would move for the forward in January to replace Cristiano Ronaldo.
But in a shocking twist, arch-rivals Liverpool hijacked the transfer for the coveted 23-year-old, much to the delight of Klopp.
‘There is a lot to like about Cody. He is still only 23 but he already has a lot of experience,’ the Reds manager told Liverpoolfc.com.
‘He was the captain of PSV, he was the Player of the Year in Holland last season and, as a lot of people have just seen, he also had a great World Cup with his national team.
‘So, it is clear that he is already a really, really good player but his age also means he also has the potential to become even better.
‘Offensively, he is very versatile and on top of this we know he is a smart footballer and also a smart person, so we are really excited to be able to work with him.’
While the exact details of how Liverpool won the race for Gakpo remain under wraps, Klopp was quick to thank Ward for orchestrating the transfer.
Ward who will leave his role as sporting director at the end of the season pulled off a similar transfer this time last year when he brought Luis Diaz to Anfield after the winger was heavily linked with Tottenham.
He also recruited Darwin Nunez over the summer who was linked with many of Europe’s top clubs including Arsenal, United and Atletico Madrid.
‘It really is great news for us that we have been able to do it and I have to say it has been a fantastic job by everyone involved, especially Julian,’ Klopp added.
‘The work that has gone into this has been really impressive and in the end we have managed to sign a player who we have known about for quite some time and who we believe will have a really bright future with us.’
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