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“He’s trying”- Michael Owen compares Liverpool newboy to Lionel Messi amidst early struggles



Michael Owen makes Lionel Messi point to defend new Liverpool signing Cody Gakpo

Such was the instant impact of Luis Diaz on Liverpool that the Reds expect the same from every player joining the club. January signing Cody Gakpo is no different. The player has not even played five games for the Reds but the expectations on him seem too big.

Let’s be honest. Liverpool are struggling and it would be difficult for any player to make an impact on the team’s results immediately. In only four appearances, the 23-year-old also has not received a lot of service and has at times looked flat.

Liverpool are yet to win a league game in 2023 and Gakpo is miles away from being anywhere remotely close to being the problem for the Reds. Former Red Michael Owen also agrees and had a few words to say about the Dutchman’s situation at the club.

Michael Owen makes Lionel Messi point to defend new Liverpool signing Cody Gakpo.
Liverpool winger Cody Gakpo.

Owen spoke about how tense the situation is at Liverpool and even a player like Lionel Messi would find it difficult to get going at the Reds in this scenario and the fans should be much more patient with Gakpo. Here is what he said via Liverpool Echo:

“I feel sorry for him actually because he’s coming into a team that are really inconsistent and drained of all the confidence that we’ve seen in the past,”

“He had a couple of half-chances [against Chelsea] and it’s clear he’s trying.

“I’m sure he’s going to be a good signing for the future, but at the moment, I would defy even Lionel Messi to come in and look good in this team because it’s really struggling.”

Struggling Reds

At Liverpool right now, there is certainly an inconsistency in team selection which adds to Gakpo not getting the ideal goal output. Obviously, a player who has not played outside PSV all his life will find it tough to adjust and needs the help of the management and more importantly, needs time to settle in completely.

To get the best of Gakpo, the Reds need to strengthen who plays around the winger. The midfielders stand chopped and changed each second game and that inconsistency also channels toward the player not being able to find his feet at the club.

Michael Owen makes Lionel Messi point to defend new Liverpool signing Cody Gakpo.
Cody Gakpo certainly needs the support of Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool fans now. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

As Owen rightly said, the world’s greatest player, Lionel Messi would also find it tough to get going at a struggling Liverpool side. Hopefully, the Reds get over their poor form sooner than later to see the new-look front three of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Gakpo unleash themselves.

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He has shown promise in the Dutch league, but naturally, it will take him some time to adjust to the physicality and pace of the English game.