bet365 have priced up Manchester United at 15/8 to sign Cody Gakpo in the January transfer window amid reports of potential interest from the Old Trafford club.
The likes of Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Southampton were linked with the winger over the summer, but his fantastic start to the Eredivisie season – in which he’s scored nine goals and made 12 assists in just 14 games – combined with his efforts at the World Cup, in which he scored in all three of the Netherlands’ group games, have seen him now linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United, though the former it is thought would prefer to explore options in the summer.
One consideration for manager Erik ten Hag would be how overloaded his left wing already is, and that Gakpo is of a similar profile to many of his attacking players. The likes of Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes all prefer the ball played in to feet, like Gakpo, and it is unclear whether Gakpo will bring anything significantly different to Old Trafford.
Martial is now United's primary striker, with Sancho, Marcus Rashford and teenager Alejandro Garnacho fighting for spots on the left wing and Ten Hag may not want to worsen his selection headache.
Arsenal (14/1) were also tentatively linked with Gakpo in the summer, and with an injury that will keep Gabriel Jesus out for the next few months, Mikel Arteta may be tempted to move for the PSV man who can also operate up front.
Big-spending Newcastle (14/1) have suffered injuries to key players in key positions this season, with Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak starting a combined seven league games, and it may be an avenue they look to explore in their push for a top-four place.
Liverpool, too, have suffered in attacking positions with Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota picking up lengthy injuries in October, with marquee summer signing Darwin Nunez yet to high top gear, and they can be backed to sign Gakpo at 18/1.
Barcelona are also priced up at 18/1, but with their litany of attacking options, including Raphinha, Memphis Depay, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres, you’d imagine they’d need departures before arrivals.
But the fact Gakpo is linked with some of European football’s giants is testament to his performances this season.
Of course, the level of competition between the Eredivisie and the Premier League is vastly different, but outside of his goals and assists, Gakpo’s numbers for PSV stack up.
This season in the Eredivisie, Gakpo has averaged 3.93 shots per 90 minutes, while Harry Kane is on 3.51 and Mohamed Salah in on 3.64.
He’s also averaged 1.93 shots on target per 90 minutes, which would have him behind only Darwin Nunez, Erling Haaland and Roberto Firmino in the Premier League.
His xG/90 is a solid 0.50, which would’ve seen him rank 11th in the Premier League last season (minimum of 10 full matches played), with his non-penalty xG/90 an equally respectable 0.38.
One reason for caution, however, may be that he’s scored 0.72 goals/90 – 0.22 higher than his xG, which he also over-performed on last season, and indeed at the World Cup, scoring three goals from his first four shots – which suggests we’re either looking at an elite finisher, or his goals will likely slow down as the season progresses.
It should be noted however that, while Gakpo is in the Eredivisie, playing in an attacking side that are averaging exactly three goals a game so far this season, his 12 assists are no fluke.
He’s averaging 7.94 shot-creating actions per 90 (one of the two actions – a dribble, pass etc. – prior to a shot). For context, Kevin De Bruyne unsurprisingly leads the Premier League on 6.60 and led the Premier League last season on 6.62, and his goal-creating actions per 90 would also top the league this season and last with 1.36.
Understandably, PSV will be desperate to keep Gakpo until at least the end of the season, and he has a contract until 2026, but if the price is right, they may be tempted to cash in while his stock is at its peak, though there’s nothing to say it won’t rise further throughout the rest of the season. Gakpo is 4/6 to stay at PSV beyond the January window.