Soccer-Gakpo might have moved too early to Liverpool says Dutch coach Koeman

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Chelsea - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - January 21, 2023 Liverpool's Cody Gakpo in action with Chelsea's Trevoh Chalobah REUTERS/Phil Noble /File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Liverpool’s new Netherlands international signing Cody Gakpo is struggling to find his feet and might have made the move to the Premier League too early, his new national team coach Ronald Koeman said.

The 23-year-old Gakpo moved to Liverpool from PSV Eindhoven last month but in six starts he has yet to score.

Koeman said it was good to have young Dutch players moving to bigger leagues but it could also be difficult for them.

“The level in England is higher than in the Netherlands, but they are also young boys, aren't they? Like (Ryan) Gravenberch going to Bayern (Munich) and not playing. Then that is difficult,” he said on a YouTube show hosted by former footballer Andy van der Meyde.

Koeman said the fact that Liverpool were struggling did not benefit Gakpo's game.

"You can see that, that he has ended up in a team that is not doing well. Then it becomes more difficult for him, as a new signing. You are tested right away. And if you don't score or you're not important and you don't win any matches, it's very difficult, especially for a young player. If that's was someone aged 28 with experience, it would be different,” Koeman added.

The new Dutch coach, who began his second stint in charge on Jan. 1, said he was keeping a keen eye on all Dutch exports as he considers his first selection for March’s kick off of the Euro-2024 qualifiers.

The Netherlands take on France and Gibraltar in March.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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