Cody Gakpo is finally off the mark for Liverpool but did he break a Jurgen Klopp ‘rule’ before the Merseyside Derby?
New Liverpool signing Cody Gakpo announced himself at Anfield on Monday with a goal against Everton – but is he up to speed with all of Jurgen Klopp’s rules?
The 23-year-old Dutchman has made seven appearances for the Reds since moving to Merseyside from PSV Eindhoven in a £37million deal last month. After bedding in, the forward has now made his mark, netting Liverpool’s second goal against their city rivals in a much-needed 2-0 win.
But before kick-off, eagle-eyed fans noticed the Netherlands international performing a ritual that is technically off-limits to him, for now at least. While entering the field of play before the match, Gakpo was seen touching the ‘This is Anfield’ sign above his head as he walked through the tunnel toward the pitch. The moment was filmed on the club’s Inside Anfield Youtube feature.
As innocent as this may seem, it contradicts a ‘rule’ that Kop boss Klopp put in place early in his reign. Speaking back in 2016, he said: “I’ve told my players not to touch the ‘This Is Anfield’ sign until they win something!”
Liverpool has swept the board in terms of silverware since the new rule was shared by their manager, but new players like Gakpo have not yet earned that privilege. Even summer signing Darwin Nunez could argue his entitlement, having already won the Community Shield with the Reds, but it is still very early days for the new number 18.
The gesture leaves a few unanswered questions. Was Gakpo aware of the rule or has Klopp changed it since the club became successful again? Has he done it before? Perhaps more importantly, will Gakpo dare to repeat the trick after scoring his debut goal in the game that followed? Perhaps it is good luck for him.
Either way, Liverpool supporters will surely not mind too much, provided the former Eindhoven star can keep adding to his goal tally, which already includes 13 goals for PSV this season and three at the World Cup for Holland.