Former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique has questioned the Merseyside club’s £35 million acquisition of Cody Gakpo.

Speaking to Stadium Astro on Youtube, former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique has come down hard on the Reds’ new boy Cody Gakpo.

The Merseysiders stunned Manchester United with a late move for Gakpo in December, eventually finalising the deal when the transfer window opened in January 2023. The Dutchman was one of the best players in the Eredivisie and was also coming off an excellent 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Gakpo has made four appearances for Liverpool so far. But he is yet to register a single goal contribution. He has looked good in flashes but has failed to hit the ground running like some of the club’s other attacking recruits in recent windows.

The 23-year-old led the line against Chelsea on Saturday but failed to display the x-factor upfront. A few half-chances went his way, but Gakpo failed to find the back of the net, and the match ended in a scoreless draw.

While it is still early days, one man who has already made his verdict on the attacker is Jose Enrique. The former Liverpool defender does not believe that the 23-year-old has what it takes to be world-class.

“I don’t look at him and think ‘oh my god’ he’s going to be world-class. Not like I did with Mane, or with Salah or Firmino. I don’t see this kind of quality on him.”

Enrique added that Liverpool’s poor form as a whole has not made life any easier for the £35 million signing. Coming into a side that is struggling to find its best run and look out of sorts is not easy. More so, the Reds are also missing several attackers such as Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, all of whom are injured.

“If the team was rolling it would be easy for him. But, I’m not 100% positive about his signing.”

It was on the left wing that Gakpo shone while with PSV Eindhoven, and is yet to get a regular run out in the position at Anfield. More so, he is also just getting used to the Reds’ style and will take a while to get acclimatised. 

The benchmark set by the vaunted front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane has raised the bar by which new Liverpool attackers are judged. The morale at the club is also low at the moment, further explaining why it was easier for Diaz to settle into a side that was challenging for the quadruple. Gakpo, meanwhile, has walked into one that is not just burnt out but also in need of a rebuild.

Darwin Nunez’s return will hand Liverpool a focal attacking player and help them shift Gakpo back to the left wing. It would be too much to expect the Dutchman to single-handedly save Liverpool’s season, he will certainly improve with time.

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