Manchester United target Cody Gakpo has been compared to Kevin De Bruyne amid reports that the Red Devils will step up their transfer pursuit in January. Manager Erik ten Hag supposedly flirted with the idea of signing him in the summer, and a string of stellar World Cup performances will only have upped his stock in the Dutchman’s mind.
Gakpo has put together a mesmerising season so far for PSV Eindhoven. With just 14 Eredivisie games under his belt in 2022/23, the 6ft 3in attacker has proven he can do it all with nine league goals and no less than 12 assists.
The same goal-scoring exploits have carried over into the Europa League, Dutch domestic cups and, perhaps most importantly, the World Cup. With the Netherlands topping Group A and setting up a Round of 16 clash with the USA, Gakpo has scored three of the team’s five goals, including one in every game so far.
With United rumoured to be weighing up whether to meet PSV’s reported £52million asking price, Brentford centre-back Ben Mee believes that United may get more than they bargained for by recruiting the 23-year-old as he claims to have seen shades of De Bruyne in his recent performances.
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“He’s always seeking out those pockets of space between your back line and midfield and, once in there, senses where teams are going to open up. Ecuador, with whom the Dutch drew in their second game of the tournament, learned that you can’t just force him on the outside and feel as if your job is done, either.”
United certainly wouldn’t say no to their own De Bruyne, who has established himself as one of the Premier League’s finest players over the past few seasons with Manchester City. Although, Cristiano Ronaldo’s bitter departure would seem to have opened up a vacancy for more of a ruthless goal-scorer than a cultured creator.
Before his exit, Ronaldo was restricted to just four Premier League starts with Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial often selected to lead the line for the Red Devils. With just six league goals between them, however, Gakpo could make a telling impact on the squad if he continues his scoring streak at Old Trafford.
After an up-and-down start under Ten Hag’s guidance, United sit fifth during the World Cup break with a game in hand on the two teams ahead of them. They return to domestic action in the EFL Cup with a home tie against Burnley scheduled for December 21.