Manchester United are reportedly considering PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo as a cheaper alternative to Antony this summer, and the Dutchman could prove to be the next Ryan Giggs at Old Trafford.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the 23-year-old is on the list of attackers considered by the board at United after he was suggested by Erik ten Hag.
Romano suggests that a good relationship with the player’s agent could be crucial in any potential deal, while he would be a cheaper option than Antony as Ajax continue to demand an astronomical fee for the Brazilian.
However, United would still be recruiting a top player in Gakpo. The youngster was the star of PSV’s team last season, finishing as their top scorer (12) and assists provider (13) in the Eredivisie, earning an incredible 7.79 average rating from WhoScored for his performances.
It is no surprise that, as a former Ajax boss, Ten Hag took note of Gakpo’s performances in the Dutch top flight, and he will be hoping that the 23-year-old could go on to recreate those performances in the Premier League with United.
De Telegraaf journalist Valentijn Driessen hailed Gakpo’s “constantly threatening” presence on the pitch last season. Given the lack of attacking threat offered by United so far this term, with Ten Hag’s side not just bottom of the table but 13th in terms of expected goals, it is clear that they could use someone with the PSV winger’s quality in the final third.
According to WhoScored, some of Gakpo’s strengths include dribbling, crossing and finishing. That marks him out as an old-fashioned winger who loves to take the ball to the byline and cross for team-mates, which could prove very effective this season when considering Cristiano Ronaldo’s aerial ability.
The legendary forward has scored the most headed goals in the 21st century, so the prospect of Gakpo producing quality crosses from out wide for Ronaldo is surely one which will excite United fans.
Gakpo’s attributes as a left winger may well remind United supporters of another legendary Old Trafford attacker in Ryan Giggs. The Welsh wizard made a mammoth 948 appearances for the Red Devils in a glittering career, contributing 164 goals and 255 assists.
Sir Alex Ferguson best summed up Giggs’ ability as a winger when he said: “When Ryan runs at players he gives them twisted blood. They don’t want to be a defender anymore.”
Gakpo appears to be similarly dangerous with the ball at his feet, as he completed an impressive 2.9 dribbles per game in the Eredivisie last season, significantly more than any United player managed.
Therefore, United should definitely consider bringing the £40m-valued Gakpo to Old Trafford this summer, for if he is even half as good as Giggs was, then he would surely be a quality addition to Ten Hag’s squad.