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Ryan Babel talks about Liverpool forward’s ‘best position’ in the lineup

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By Siddharth Juyal

Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel discussed the best position for Cody Gakpo in the Liverpool lineup

Former Liverpool player Ryan Babel talked about the best position for Cody Gakpo in the current Liverpool setup. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has used Gakpo’s versatility to play him in multiple positions since he signed for the club.

Liverpool are currently at the top of the Premier League but the competition is strong with no room for mistakes. At the same time, the Reds have progressed further in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup competitions.

The success in all competitions has allowed Klopp to provide a significant amount of game time to all the players. Liverpool’s attacking department has enjoyed a rich vein of form despite criticism for being too wasteful in front of goals.

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Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo scored a brace against Newcastle United during the Red’s home victory in the first game of 2024.

Klopp has deployed Gakpo as a centre-forward, central midfielder, attacking midfielder and at both the flanks as a winger. The 24-year-old has made 25 appearances in all competitions so far, contributing with eight goals and three assists.

Gakpo has shown incredible versatility alongside technique and the ability to build a strong linkup play with his teammates. Despite the success in just a year into his Liverpool career, the Dutchman’s best position remains a big debate.

Speaking to LFC TV (Liverpool Echo), Babel voiced his opinion on Gakpo’s favourable position and the benefits of versatility. He said:

“I think if you ask him himself, he’s naturally a winger. But when they started the World Cup, Louis van Gaal positioned him as a false nine. I think the whole story with the false nine started with the World Cup. He was doing very well for Holland and I think Jurgen Klopp also saw potential there. You can see that he can fill that position. It’s always good to be versatile to give a team that little bit extra in times of need in case of injuries and suspensions. And for him, it just increases his playing time more.”

Liverpool's English midfielder #17 Curtis Jones (L) celebrates with Liverpool's Dutch striker #18 Cody Gakpo (R) after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 1, 2024. (Photo by PETER POWELL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by PETER POWELL/AFP via Getty Images)
Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo has played in numerous positions for the Reds this season. (Photo by PETER POWELL/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool’s highest goal scorer Mohamed Salah has joined his national side to fulfil his international duties during the AFCON competition. The situation leaves a big void in the Reds attack as Salah contributes a lot to goals and assists.

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Gakpo is among the attackers that the Reds are depending upon in the absence of Salah. The Dutchman has the ability to contribute regularly in goals and assists which goes unnoticed at times. Rest assured, the Kopites have always appreciated Gakpo’s tireless work ethic and contribution towards the team.