Cody Gakpo reveals Virgil van Dijk role in Liverpool transfer
Cody Gakpo has confessed he chose to join Liverpool after speaking with fellow Dutchman Virgil van Dijk.
Van Dijk has been a fan favourite since his move to Liverpool in January 2018 and, four years later, he is set to be joined by another Dutch international after the Reds agreed to pay an initial £37m to bring Gakpo in from PSV Eindhoven.
Gakpo had initially been expected to join Manchester United after months of public flirting, but the forward has now revealed how Van Dijk helped him choose Liverpool instead.
“We spoke a lot over the phone [in] the last days,” Gakpo told Sky Sports News.
“What he told me was that this is the right move for me to make and for me to develop and to become a better player, that the club is a really big and massive club but also like a real family – I think that’s also very important for me because I’m a family guy. He said only good things.
“I’m also happy that he’s here, so he can help me with some stuff. I’m really grateful to be here.”
Gakpo joins a stacked forward line at Anfield but may see plenty of opportunities to impress early on due to injuries to Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, whose absences left Liverpool without a natural left winger before this latest signing.
Jurgen Klopp now has a selection of Gakpo, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to choose from in the short run, with Diaz and Jota expected to return to training in the new year.
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Arsenal pre-season 2023/24: Fixtures and schedule
Having reached new heights in the Premier League in 2022/23, Arsenal will soon be beginning their preparations for the new campaign with a pre-season tour to get ready for 2023/24.
Preparations for last season took place in Germany for Arsenal but with the Covid-19 pandemic a bit more of a distant memory for many, it is expected that more teams will be heading further afield again to either the United States of America or Asia.
Arsenal are yet to announce a full training camp location for their pre-season but they do have one fixture already confirmed which drops a big clue.
The Gunners are going to be coming up against an MLS All-Star team in Washington D.C. which will be coached by Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney. That takes place on July 19 and it is hard to imagine that Arsenal will only play one game in America.
A semi-regular fixture of Arsenal’s pre-seasons in recent years has been the Emirates Cup, but there has not been any word on whether an edition of that will be taking place or not this summer. If there is, then Arsenal could be splitting their time between America and London.
All times BST.
As is the case for almost every big club in football now, all of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies are expected to be televised live on Arsenal.com and their official app with a subscription.
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