Jurgen Klopp has hailed the versatility of Cody Gakpo and has discussed the competition for places in the Liverpool frontline.
Gakpo returned to the side with a goal during the Reds’ 2-1 win at Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup in midweek, having missed the last three fixtures with a knee problem.
The Dutch international arrived from PSV Eindhoven last January having played predominantly from the left-wing, but Gakpo has featured more often in a central role since arriving into the Premier League.
Gakpo has been used as a centre-forward and in a withdrawn midfield position under Klopp, who has praised the 24-year-old’s ability to perform in multiple positions.
“Since Cody has been here, he has played many positions. He had to play in midfield but that was never the plan, we just had to do it,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with Luton.
“He is a versatile striker and arrives into the box well. He’s a top player and a good character.”
Competition is fierce in the forward line at Liverpool, with Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez all competing for a place. Klopp believes there is a strong bond between his forward options.
“All the boys like each other. It’s not a competition, they like to be together. If one doesn’t start they know they have a chance to come on and kill the game off.”
Liverpool sit fourth in the Premier League table ahead of Sunday’s trip to Luton, and Klopp has been pleased with the start his side have made.
“I’m really positive about the team but it is so early [in the season].
“There are so many good teams out there. It’s not about celebrating the moment and being relieved that we can play football again, it’s about using the full potential of the group.”