‘You don’t normally see that’ - Liverpool legend compares £37m star to Newcastle United ‘revelation’

Anfield icon Jamie Carragher and Man Utd legend Gary Neville were discussing the Premier League stars on Sky Sports.

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Following Cody Gakpo’s goal in the Merseyside derby on Monday, Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher drew some interesting comparisons between the Liverpool forward and Newcastle United’s Joelinton.

Gakpo arrived in the January window from PSV Eindhoven for an initial fee of £37 million. Despite recording 30 goal contributions before linking up with Jurgen Klopp’s side, his effort against Everton was the first time he netted for the Reds in seven games on Monday night.

Another forward who struggled when joining the Premier League was Joelinton. Signed for £40 million in 2019, a Newcastle club-record at the time, he was earmarked to be a prolific goalscorer.

However, never quite panned it out that way. And after Eddie Howe took the St James’ Park reigns over in November 2021, he identifed that the Brazilian’s strengths may be better suited in midfield.

The 26-year-old has gone from strength to strength since occupying a deeper role. He still has the freedom to get forward but he also can utilise his other attributes such as his power, dribbling ability and engine to better effect.

Gakpo has largely been deployed as a centre-forward at Liverpool, although he operated on the left wing for much of his PSV career. But with Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota returning from injury against Everton, coupled with Luis Diaz closing in on a return to full fitness,

And Carragher believes that Gakpo could be switched to a deeper role.

“You see the size of him, you don’t normally see that,” the former Liverpool defender said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football. “The one person you say that comes to my mind doing it that has become a revelation is Joelinton at Newcastle, similar sort of physique.

“He’s been used to playing in that wide left, now in that Firmino role, but with Jota coming back, Diaz isn’t far away as well, so there’s an abundance of attacking players. At some stage Jurgen Klopp might have to think about playing four up front of tucking someone into midfield, as Gary says.”

Neville replied: “If Jota comes back into the team then you’ve got four to choose from and Diaz might come back as well, do you think he could, with his control, play in that deeper role as part of a three? “I’m thinking could you get Jota in with Nunez and Salah, and then maybe have him back in the midfield three?”

Carragher added: “I think his main strength is actually with the ball when the ball comes to his feet - you don’t actually think he’s going to lose it. Maybe he doesn’t have that blistering pace but there was a couple times tonight where he has glided past people. It would be really interesting to see how Nunez and Gakpo play and their positions in the team.”