Cody Gakpo: Who is Manchester United and Arsenal’s transfer target? | Soccer

Manchester United and Arsenal target Cody Gakpo

Manchester United and Arsenal target Cody Gakpo (Image: Getty Images)

Manchester United and Arsenal are reportedly embroiled in a transfer battle over highly-rated Netherlands winger Cody Gakpo.

The Premier League giants are just two of a number of sides hoping to land PSV’s star from the Eredivisie in this summer’s transfer window.

United manager Erik Ten Hag has formalized his interest after seeing Gakpo come to an end as manager of arch-rivals Ajax last season and it is believed a strong financial offer will persuade PSV to sign their Flying Dutchman for sale.

Who is Cody Gakpo and who is he currently playing for?

Gakpo plays for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven after joining the club’s academy in 2006 at the age of seven.

The Eindhoven-born winger with a rating of 35m

Gakpo has scored an impressive 29 goals in 93 games for PSV and has struck twice since making his debut for the Netherlands in 2021, spurring interest from Manchester United and Arsenal.

The 23-year-old made his debut for the national team at Euro 2020, coming on as a substitute for fellow Manchester United compatriot Frenkie De Jong in a group stage game against North Macedonia.

What’s his best position?

Despite being right footed, Gakpo usually plays on the left wing for PSV and the Netherlands.

Regular Eredivisie viewers are used to the sight of Gakpo cutting in with his right foot and taking a more central position.

Cody Gakpo scores for PSV

Gakpo in action for PSV (Image: Getty Images)

Gakpo’s ability to play on both right and left wing will appeal to Ten Hag and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

His blistering pace and tight ball control are sure to delight fans should his proposed move to the Premier League materialize.

What was his career highlight?

Gakpo was voted Dutch Footballer of the Year for his outstanding 2021/22 season, in which he recorded 21 goals and 15 assists in all competitions in his most prolific season to date.

Despite finishing second in the league behind Ajax last season, Gakpo helped PSV win the cup after scoring the winning goal against Ten Hag’s side in the KNVB final.

Gakpo was the first Dutch player to make his international debut at a European Championship since Martien Vreijsen in 1980.

Whose place would he take at Arsenal or Man Utd?

Gakpo would face stiffer competition for a spot at Arsenal than at United, with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in good form for the Gunners.

However, Gakpo might have had an easier route into Manchester United’s faltering attack, with question marks over several strikers at Old Trafford.

United and Arsenal hope to lure Gakpo to the Premier League (Image: Getty Images)

Marcus Rashford, who suffered a serious drop in form in 2022, and Anthony Martial, who has returned from a miserable loan spell at Sevilla, would both be looking over their shoulders as Ten Hag gets his man and brings him to Manchester.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Old Trafford is also unclear, so a move from the Portuguese Premier League legend could give United more room in attack.

What did he say about van Nistelrooy and the Premier League?

Gakpo has opened up about Manchester United icon Ruud van Nistelrooy and his desire to play in the Premier League.

He said The Sun: “Van Nistelrooy was my forward coach in academy. I learned a lot from him and I look up to him. He talked to me about how to cope in certain situations and that helped me a lot.

“He gave me some tricks for shooting and keeping my options open. Shoot low and hard, not nice and high. A goal is a goal, you know. I’m grateful he did.’

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Gakpo added: “The Premier League is a big league. Virgil van Dijk plays there with Liverpool so I love watching them.

“We’re not the same kind of league but I think we’re trying to look at the Prem and learn about it. Everyone wants to play in the prem once. I don’t favor any team, but I like Arsenal a lot.

“When I was younger I looked up to Henry because he was a big guy who played the wing.”

MORE: Cody Gakpo’s stance on Manchester United move revealed as Erik ten Hag link surfaced

MORE: Erik ten Hag eyes Cody Gakpo after Ajax commit £80m for Antony

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Manchester United Cody Gakpo: Who is Manchester United and Arsenal's transfer target? | Soccer

Nate Jones

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