Euro 2024 star is already forcing Arne Slot's hand weeks into Liverpool reign

Arne Slot is gearing up for his first pre-season with Liverpool (Image: Getty)

Arne Slot has a number of versatile attackers with which to build a front-line after taking the reins at Liverpool. Mohamed Salah has played centrally or on the right, Darwin Nunez has played up top or on the left, and Cody Gakpo has played in a variety of roles.

But debate around Gakpo’s best position is being put to bed at Euro 2024. With goals against Poland, Austria and Romania, the 25-year-old is the joint-top-scorer at the tournament.

And Holland manager Ronald Koeman has been consistent in deploying him on the left wing. There, he can cut inside and shoot on his preferred right foot, or go outside the defender using his pace and power.

Slot following Koeman’s lead and playing Gakpo in his best position should be a no-brainer. The Holland forward played primarily as a centre-forward under Jurgen Klopp last season, scoring eight Premier League goals and recording five assists.

But Liverpool could have a huge star on their hands if they allow Gakpo to use his ability in one-on-one situations and continue honing his craft on the left. Even among the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jude Bellingham, Gakpo has arguably been the best player at Euro 2024 thus far.

And he will have the opportunity to continue proving his worth to Slot, with Holland preparing for a quarter-final against Turkey on Saturday night.

Cody Gakpo (left) was on the scoresheet again as Holland breezed past Romania (Image: Getty)

“His position is on the left side because he is really dangerous when he gets one-on-one with the full-back,” Koeman explained after Holland’s last-16 win over Romania. “Inside and outside, he has his qualities. He is strong. He’s playing at a great level this tournament. He’s maybe been our most important player up to now and I hope the rest of my team can come up to his level.”

Slot will effectively be forced to start Gakpo on the Reds’ left flank if further exciting performances follow. And that could leave Luis Diaz in big trouble.

Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly admirers of the Colombian, who may find himself frozen out of the starting XI if Slot puts his trust in Gakpo. The Liverpool boss is perfectly familiar with Gakpo as he was tearing up the Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven during his time in charge of Feyenoord.

Favouring a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 formation, dynamic wingers are essential to Slot’s style of play. Diaz fits the brief, but Gakpo is proving he can take his game to another level if used in the right system.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1918393/euro-2024-arne-slot-liverpool-cody-gakpo