Leeds United could miss out on a deal to bring Cody Gakpo to Elland Road in the January transfer window.
That’s according to Phil Hay, with The Athletic journalist stating his belief in a recent episode of The Phil Hay Show that, despite Fabrizio Romano recently suggesting that the PSV Eindhoven winger will be a top target for Victor Orta in the winter market.
He added that, after Whites missed out on a £34m+ deal for the 23-year-old this summer, it would appear unlikely that the Netherlands international will remain in Leeds’ bracket by the time January comes around.
Speaking about the club’s interest in the forward, Hay said: “If Gakpo goes to the World Cup, if Gakpo has a good World Cup, if he has a good domestic season with PSV, his value is going to increase, his value is going to go up. I think he will move fairly rapidly into the Champions League bracket.
“So I would question, quite honestly, whether beyond this window Leeds have much chance of signing him at all. I’m not sure how realistic that is. That’s not to say that they can’t, but something tells me that if they were going to [try to sign Gakpo] beyond this window that’s just gone, then they’re going to have to seriously, seriously push the boat out.”
Considering just how exciting a talent Gakpo undoubtedly is, should Hay be correct in his claim that it was essentially now or never for Leeds to seal a deal for the 23-year-old, it is certainly not good news for Orta and his transfer team.
Indeed, the £27m-rated talent has already proven over his five Eredivisie appearances so far this season exactly why Leeds wanted to sign him. He has scored six goals, provided three assists and created six big chances for his team-mates, in addition to taking 4.4 shots (2.8 of which hit the target), making 2.8 key passes and completing 1.2 dribbles per game.
These returns have seen the winger average a quite remarkable SofaScore match rating of 8.64, not only ranking him as PSV’s best performer in the league but also as the best player in the Dutch top flight as a whole in 2022/23.
For context, Gakpo has already scored the same amount of goals this term that Rodrigo managed in 31 Premier League outings last season, registered the same number of assists that Raphinha managed across 35 top-flight games last term and has created more big chances than every single player in Jesse Marsch’s squad did – aside from Raphinha – in the club’s 2021/22 top-flight campaign.
As such, it is not difficult to understand why Hay is concerned that Gakpo’s form could see him become worth a great deal more than Leeds’ accepted £34m+ offer for the winger by the time the winter market rolls around.
Considering just how impressive a capture the Dutchman would have been for the Whites, that is sure to come as a huge blow to Orta, Marsch and supporters of the club alike.