Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Manchester United Target Regrets Failed Move: Should ten Hag Go In For Him Again?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

In a recent interview with The Times (subscription required), PSV forward Cody Gakpo revealed how close he had come to joining Manchester United in the latest transfer window and how he was left disappointed when the deal failed to go through.

“I was close to leaving, I spoke to Erik ten Hag a few times at Manchester United.” – The Eredivisie star said.

“In the end the deal didn’t go through, which was a shame, for me and my development, and because Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world, but also for PSV, because to transfer a player to Manchester United is a good thing for the club.

“It ended about a week before the end of the transfer window and in that week, I had to decide if I would go to Leeds or Southampton.

“In the end I stayed, but it was a stressful period.”

Manchester United had already agreed upon personal terms with the Dutch winger; however, in the end, Erik ten Hag decided to prioritize the signing of Antony for a fee in the region of £86 million.

Manchester United's Antony
Manchester United’s Antony

Should ten Hag Go In For Him Again?

Having come through the ranks at PSV Eindhoven itself, Cody Gakpo made his debut for the senior team as an injury-time substitute in a 3-1 victory over Feyenoord on 25 February 2018. His performances improved steadily with each game; however, he broke into the scene in the 2019-20 season with fourteen goal contributions in 25 appearances.

Even this season, he has managed to put up impressive numbers on the board – averaging 3.8 shots, 3.8 key passes, 1.6 dribbles, and 3.2 crosses per ninety minutes in the Dutch top flight. Besides, with an average WhoScored rating of 8.64, he has been one of the best players on his team so far this term. Although Gakpo is primarily a left-winger, his versatility allows him to slot in as a striker or as a right-winger in the hour of need.

Manchester United are in dire need of reinforcements in the attacking department – and Cody Gakpo fits the bill perfectly. Aged 23, he has plenty of experience under his belt and Erik ten Hag is already familiar with him from their time in the Eredivisie together. Hence, the board should go all out for his signature in the upcoming transfer window.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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