Explained: Why Cody Gakpo is back to his best

Cody Gakpo has 15 goals and six assists in 51 appearances for Liverpool this season.

IMAGE CREDITS: GETTY IMAGES

Jurgen Klopp and Cody Gakpo have provided insight into the mental obstacles that hindered the Liverpool striker’s form, and how they collaborated to overcome them.

Gakpo’s first full season at Liverpool has been marked by challenges, yet the Dutchman has still notched an impressive tally of 15 goals and six assists in 51 appearances.

Enduring various roles and grappling with injuries, Gakpo has only recently begun to showcase glimpses of his peak performance.

During his pre-Aston Villa press conference, Klopp disclosed that he engaged in a one-on-one dialogue with Gakpo to address his on-field struggles.

Further elaborating on this discussion in Liverpool’s ‘The Reds Roundtable’ series, both Klopp and Gakpo shed light on their conversation and its impact.

“It’s interesting, so Cody is now obviously, in this moment in time while we are sitting here, one of the most stable players, performing really well now for a few games,” Klopp said.

“We had this conversation four or five weeks ago, and I really don’t think it was that much about what we were talking [about], it was just the turning point that we spoke.

“You say you had problems before – and you will have problems in the future, that’s how it is – but how do you get out of that?

“So when sometimes, as human beings, we just give it out of our hands and say ‘it’s just not a great moment, I try really hard, I enjoy everything I’m doing’ but it’s not true.

“So we have to be honest with ourselves in these moments.”

Gakpo added: “I think your surroundings at home and the club you’re in are really important to overcome those situations.

“Like when I was injured this year, everybody was looking after me; when there were bad moments I had conversations with the gaffer, with players as well.

“So I think obviously you have to be very strong mentally yourself, but your surroundings are as important, I think.”

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