Dutch football legend Marco van Basten has already given Manchester United a reason to be patient and not rush into a move for Cody Gakpo.
PSV Eindhoven director Marcel Brands revealed on Saturday that the Reds made an enquiry for the winger in mid-August but the deal fell through with United failing to match the Eredivisie club’s valuation. Despite claims by Brands that this disrupted his preparation to the season, Gakpo has moved from strength to strength in the Netherlands.
In just 13 appearances so far this campaign, Gakpo has managed ten goals and nine assists. His latest haul came against Feyenoord on Sunday when he scored one and provided three in a 4-3 victory.
Having not added a left winger to his squad this summer, Erik ten Hag may be tempted to go after Gakpo. However, Van Basten has already given him a reason to hold off.
“He has been in the Eredivisie for a year now,” Van Basten told Voetbal4U (via Planet Football) in January. “You have to have a basis to succeed abroad. That is three, four years in the Netherlands.
“Then you’re just a bit stronger, a bit better prepared for the higher level abroad – because it all goes much harder and faster. But nowadays, they all want to leave after one year.
“The sooner you leave, the greater the chance of not succeeding. If you don’t succeed in those two, three years, then you go to another club that is less. Then your career is going to look very nasty.”
No doubt Ten Hag is going to be watching Gakpo’s development closely over the next few months. A strong performance in the World Cup, should he be called up, would make it difficult for United not to make a move.
However, Van Basten’s words may have explained why the Reds did not reach PSV’s valuation of Gakpo. Should he continue this form though it would be hard not to make him a top transfer target in January.