Leeds United have held a long-term interest in Cody Gakpo, with the Whites seeing a last-minute move for the PSV Eindhoven forward fall through during the closing stages of the summer transfer window.
However, following the Premier League side’s failure to land the 23-year-old, Fabrizio Romano revealed that he was told Victor Orta would once again try for the Netherlands international in the January market.
And, considering the remarkable form Gakpo has been in for PSV so far this season – having scored 13 goals and registered 17 assists over his 24 appearances in all competitions – it is not hard to see why Leeds are keen on the youngster.
Furthermore, the £39m-rated talent has already managed to catch the eye at the Qatar World Cup, with the forward turning in a fantastic display in the Netherlands’ opening 2-0 victory over Senegal on Monday afternoon.
Indeed, over his 89 minutes on the pitch, the £19k-per-week starlet was incredibly effective when in possession of the ball, as, despite enjoying just 36 touches and completing a mere seven of his 11 attempted passes, the 23-year-old still made three key passes, found his man with four crosses and completed one dribble.
However, it was undoubtedly the starlet’s incredible movement and subsequent finish to give his side an 84th-minute lead that well and truly thrust Gakpo into the World Cup spotlight, with the attacker losing his defender with a darting run across the Senegal box before beating Edouard Mendy in the air to head the Netherlands in front.
These metrics saw the €45m (£39m) valued forward earn an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.8, with the player who Jonathan Pearce claimed was “tipped to be a star” of the Qatar World Cup very much living up to early expectations.
As such, while the PSV talent continuing in his current vein of form will undoubtedly increase the already mounting interest in his services this January, it would appear highly advisable for Orta to sanction a Leeds swoop for Gakpo as early as possible, as the 23-year-old would very much represent an unbelievable addition to Jesse Marsch’s attacking options at Elland Road.