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‘Not seen that’… Joe Cole shocked by £44m Liverpool player’s pace last night, he was ‘blistering’

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Former Liverpool player Joe Cole was left stunned during the Reds’ 4-0 win over LASK last night.

Cole spent the evening analysing Liverpool’s victory for TNT Sports. It was a comfortable night for Jurgen Klopp’s side, with goals from Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah and a brace from Cody Gakpo sealing the points and progression as group winners.

There was plenty to talk about after the game, from Wataru Endo’s performance, to Salah’s perceived ‘poker-face‘ over his Liverpool future.

But it was seemingly Gakpo who caught Cole’s eye the most. The 42-year-old claimed that he was left in shock at the sheer speed of the Dutchman last night.

“He was probing, getting into good positions and what I do like about him is how comfortable he is on the ball,” Cole raved.

“He showed a yard there. I didn’t know he had that kind of speed. He just took off. That’s why I think there’s more to him, because I have not seen that. How long have we watched Cody Gakpo play? I have not seen him open his legs like that. He looked blistering.”

Cole shocked by Gakpo pace

Perhaps it’s because of the speed of the likes of Darwin Nunez, Diaz and even Salah, but Gakpo’s pace does get overlooked.

He isn’t Adama Traore by any means, but the former PSV Eindhoven captain can really move across the turf.

Such is his height, Gakpo is perhaps deceptive in just how quickly he can move. At times it can look almost as if the 24-year-old is gliding over the pitch.

What we find more impressive than his pure speed though, is his ability to run quickly with the ball. Not every player that can move fast out of possession can move fast in it. Gakpo can.

The £44m signing also matches his speed of foot with a speediness of thought. How often do we see him anticipate in the penalty box, race past defences and get on the end of a square ball across the six-yard box?

His movement was also key in securing the space for Trent Alexander-Arnold to score against Manchester City on Sunday. That was quick-thinking.

In recent months there has been a general feeling of disappointment over Gakpo’s general output. With Diogo Jota now injured, it’s set to be a big opportunity for the Netherlands international.

Thankfully, he has kicked that off in the very best way with two goals last night. Having seen some negative coverage of late, Cole won’t be the only one Cody surprises over the coming period.

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