Cody Gakpo: The Dutchman Bringing a Religious Outlook to Liverpool
Cody Gakpo, the 24-year-old forward from PSV Eindhoven, has brought a refreshing perspective to Liverpool with his religious outlook on life. While his teammates busied themselves on the overnight flight to Singapore with music, movies, and games, Gakpo spent his time reading the Bible.
Gakpo, who became Netherlands’ poster-boy at the World Cup, joined Liverpool from PSV Eindhoven last winter for a fee of £44m. His versatility and creativity have impressed Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who sees him as a player that can play in a number of roles.
Gakpo’s religious outlook on life has always been a part of him, but it has strengthened in recent years. He takes the Bible with him everywhere he goes and speaks to people about it every day, always trying to learn from it. His family is religious, and he has been trying to get to grips with it for the past four years.
“It’s a lifestyle for me,” Gakpo said. “Not only in my career, religion helps my whole life. It’s about learning how to live your life. There are lots of different passages I like.”
Despite his down-to-earth and studious nature, Gakpo has shown his versatility on the field, playing as a winger, leading the line as a No. 9, and showing his creativity from midfield. When asked about his favorite position, he laughed and replied, “Just to play! It’s difficult to pick my best position; it depends on the game or opponent.”
Gakpo’s best friend on the squad is compatriot Virgil Van Dijk, who is expected to be officially confirmed as the club captain after the departure of Jordan Henderson. But the forward, like many of his teammates, is still coming to terms with Henderson’s exit.
“Hendo was a real captain inside and outside the field,” Gakpo said. “Always there for everybody, a big personality, an example for how professional players should be. I really looked up to him.”
As Liverpool prepares for the new season, Gakpo is looking forward to forgetting about last season and going back to winning trophies again. He is grateful for a rest during the summer after playing 60 games last season for PSV, Liverpool, and the Netherlands. He took a trip to his father’s homeland of Togo to recharge and give back to the community during the off-season.
“It was amazing, a really nice experience to see lots of family,” Gakpo said. “My family does some charity work there, so I helped. It is important to help, to give back as much as I can.”
Overall, Gakpo’s religious outlook on life and down-to-earth nature have made him a refreshing addition to Liverpool. With his versatility on the field, he could prove to be a bargain for the £44m fee paid for him. Liverpool fans will be hoping that Gakpo can help the team forget about last season and bring home some silverware in the new campaign.