Cody Gakpo has been in scintillating form for the Netherlands at the ongoing World Cup and the PSV Eindhoven attacker is surely attracting plenty of suitors around Europe
Glen Johnson has advised his former club Chelsea to go out and sign Cody Gakpo in the summer. The Netherlands international is enjoying a fine World Cup campaign so far as he prepares to take on Argentina in the quarter-final of the competition on Friday night.
Gakpo has played in all four of Holland’s matches so far at the tournament and he has scored in three of them. The 23-year-old was a hot property before the World Cup started but his stock continues to rise around Europe, with Real Madrid and Arsenal reportedly interested in his signature.
Chelsea are set for a busy next couple of windows as head coach Graham Potter and co-owner Todd Boehly look to leave their mark on the squad. A move in January seems unrealistic, but the Blues have been urged by former right-back Johnson to consider making an attempt when the season ends.
Speaking to FairBettingSites, Johnson said: “Cody Gakpo has really caught my eye at the World Cup. It’s not easy to score at this level, also the way he reads the game, the way he plays and moves, he looks the real deal.
“In terms of personnel, Chelsea need Gakpo more than Liverpool. Chelsea have always had fantastic wingers, but they never scored goals, if you don’t get in those positions to score goals there’s not much point in you being in the team.
Gakpo looks like he could do it in the Premier League, he looks like he would burst onto the scene like Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz has for Liverpool.”
Gakpo, despite being on World Cup duty with the Netherlands, is facing plenty of questions over where he will play his football in the future. However, the Dutchman keeps reiterating his desire to focus on the ongoing competition before making any definitive decisions over his future.
“Right now, I’m busy with the Dutch team,” Gakpo said towards the end of last month. “I’ll see what happens in the winter. In football, anything is possible.
“I’m focused now on the World Cup. It’s always nice to hear but I just focus here and do my best. I don’t get shy about rumours.
“But it’s a team sport, it’s not just about one person. I prefer it to be about the team. It’s nice things that people write, but I am not too concerned with that.”
Chelsea’s priority, however, is improving their midfield in the next couple of transfer windows. With the futures of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante far from certain, the club are looking to bring in at least two new central midfielders.
Edson Alvarez remains a target for Chelsea, football.london has recently been told. The Blues failed with a £43million offer for the Mexican towards the end of the summer transfer window with Ajax desperate to keep hold of him.
Declan Rice, though, is the priority for Chelsea. A move in January seems near-impossible but there’s a theory that West Ham United will be more willing to sell Rice when the season is over because of his contract situation and his reluctance to extend his stay in east London.
Rice of course played at the academy at Chelsea before being released as a teenager. He grew up alongside Blues and England star Mason Mount, who he is very close friends with. Johnson, though, has warned Rice he should not make a return to west London just because of his friendship with Mount.
“A move for Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice has been on the cards for a long time,” the former Chelsea and England defender added. “You’d have to think they’d both get a big move soon.
“Rice and Bellingham won’t be short of options. Both would help Liverpool and Chelsea, they would bite their arm off to get both players.
“I can see Rice going to Chelsea, but I am not sure Mason Mount’s situation has been cleared up yet. I don’t think you should go to a club because one of your best mates is there.”
Chelsea have been in dialogue with Mount over signing a new and improved contract at Stamford Bridge, but talks have been temporarily paused while he is on England duty.
There is a general feeling around the club that a positive outcome can be reached despite Mount wanting assurances over where his long-term position will be.
The 23-year-old recently addressed the situation when quizzed on it. He insisted he would not allow himself to become distracted by the off-field developments, or lack of in this case, while he represents the Three Lions.
“I have always been focused on my football since I was in the academy,” the Cobham graduate said last month. I know there is a lot more media focus on me, but I do not look too much into that. I block it out.