£37 million Liverpool star confirms Jurgen Klopp 'needed him' to play out of position

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Liverpool are set for new era and some potential new changes under Arne Slot.

Not only has Arne Slot been able to use Euro 2024 to keep an eye on potential transfer targets this summer but he has also been monitoring his own players. Five Reds remain in the tournament and they will all face each other this evening when England take on the Netherlands for a place in the final.

Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo and Ryan Gravenberch are up against Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez for the highly-anticipated second semi-final. Gakpo has been in fine form for the Dutch so far, tallying four goalscoring contributions in five games. With three goals on the board, the 25-year-old is in the running for the tournament’s Golden Boot, alongside Georges Mikauyadze (Georgia), Jamal Musiala (Germany), Dani Olmo (Spain), Ivan Schranz (Slovakia).

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Gakpo has revealed that his run of good form has come from playing in his preferred position under Ronald Koeman, which is a role that is quite saturated at Liverpool.

“I was a left winger before so that's always been my preference. But in the last one and a half years, the coach [Jurgen Klopp] needed me to play somewhere else and that's what I tried to do at my best,” the 25-year-old said, via The Mirror.

While Gakpo is a left winger by trade, he was mostly deployed as a centre-forward under Klopp following his initial £37 million signing. Last season, the Dutchman made 27 appearances as a No.9 and just 12 on the left wing, as well as appearances on the right and even in midfield. However, with Luis Díaz, Diogo Jota and even Darwin Núñez featuring on the left, the position is quite a competitive one.

Slot himself has said that he wants to discuss roles and tactics with the players before revealing to the media where he plans to place them in his debut season.

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“I don't have an opinion about what their best position would be at their countries because that depends on what other players they have. You cannot judge a player on their own,” the manager said in his recent press conference.

“It's always a team effort. But I do have my opinion about where they're going to play here. But if you don't mind, I'm going to talk to them about that first and work with them first before telling you.”

Slot also praised Gakpo’s efforts on the European stage this summer and admitted the team are keeping a close eye on him and hoping to see even more from him in these final stages of the tournament.

“I am hoping he will step up even more. We are hoping and expecting him to do even better. He has been impressive and had a good tournament so far. We've inherited a good team. With the way I look at football, I can see how important it is to work on a daily basis.”

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