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Liverpool forward reveals bizarre twist that allowed Anfield transfer

Written by on June 6, 2024

Cody Gakpo has revealed the bizarre decision-making that allowed him to become a Liverpool player.

The Netherlands international joined the Reds from PSV Eindhoven in January 2023 and has since gone on to score 22 goals in 77 appearances across all competitions, lifting last season’s EFL Cup title.

However, things could have been very different for Gakpo.

Just one transfer window previous, the forward was heavily linked with a move to Southampton and Leeds United who, at the time, were both still Premier League outfits.

Both clubs were understood to have agreed deals with PSV, with Gakpo’s future left in his own hands to decide.

“You have a difficult decision to make. And then you go to prayer to talk to God and ask for wisdom. I got that. I presented the three options I had to God,” Gakpo told ESPN Netherlands of his decision-making.

“People might think I’m strange. I could go to Southampton, Leeds came into the race and PSV wanted me to stay.

“If I scored once, I would go to Southampton. If I scored twice I would go to Leeds and if I scored three I would stay at PSV.”

Gakpo’s twist of fate

The game which Gakpo refers to was PSV’s Eredivisie fixture against FC Volendam the day before the 2022 summer transfer window closed.

The Eindhoven giants ran out comfortable 7-1 winners but for Gakpo, it seemed the stars were aligning. The young forward had netted two goals by half-time meaning, according to his reasoning, he was set to become a Leeds player.

However, after the break, a shot from Gakpo was deflected into the goal by Voldendam defender Damon Morani. VAR determined the goal would be Gakpo’s rather than going down as an own goal, sealing his hat-trick and, ultimately, his future as a PSV player.

“Maybe it will still be your goal,” teammate Jordan Teze said in a documentary. “Now it is truly in God’s hands. So if God wants you to stay, you will get that goal.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Gakpo remained at PSV until the January transfer window, by which time he’d scored another three Eredivisie goals and starred for the Netherlands with three group-stage goals at the 2022 World Cup.

That was enough to earn him his big move to Anfield, vindicating Gakpo’s patience in remaining at PSV a little while longer.

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