Everton were linked with PSV Eindhoven sensation Cody Gakpo throughout the recent summer transfer window and after his phenomenal start to the new campaign, it seems clear that he would have been a better option than Dwight McNeil in Frank Lampard’s side.
The Toffees were one of several Premier League sides credited with an interest in Gakpo on transfer deadline day but he would remain in the Eredivisie with Ruud van Nistelrooy’s side.
Last season was a hugely impressive one for Gakpo as he contributed a remarkable 12 goals and 13 assists in just 27 league appearances, averaging a superb 7.79 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
However, he looks set to comfortably outperform those numbers if he can continue his phenomenal start to the new season. In just five league appearances, the young winger has six goals and three assists with an 8.73 average rating, while he also has a further four goals in cup competitions, taking his tally to 13 goals and assists for the season thus far.
This is more than double Everton’s goal tally in the Premier League this season, which emphasises the attacking quality he could have added to Lampard’s side had he made the move to Goodison Park on deadline day.
Former Dutch footballer Theo Janssen was full of praise for Gakpo and his future in the Netherlands side last year.
He said: “That boy has everything. Fine feeling for the ball, a good through pass, dribbles and is strong between the lines.”
Dutch journalist Wierd Duk also labelled Gakpo an “enormous talent“, so he is clearly one of the best players in the Netherlands right now.
By comparison, Toffees director of football Kevin Thelwell would spend £20m on Dwight McNeil this summer, despite him managing no goals and one assist in the Premier League last season, and his start to the new campaign suggests that Gakpo would have been the far superior option.
The former Burnley man is yet to contribute a goal or assist for his new club, and will need to drastically improve his attacking output if the Toffees are to avoid another relegation scrap this season, as Lampard’s side remain without a win to their name after six games.
Should the winger continue to struggle at Goodison Park, perhaps we will see Everton return for Gakpo in January, but if he continues his phenomenal form in the Netherlands, then his value is only going to rise higher, and Thelwell may have missed a trick in failing to secure him before the summer window shut.