Cody Gakpo and Antony both caught the eye in the Eredivisie as two of European football’s most exciting young attackers – but which of Liverpool and Manchester United have got the better player?
Manchester United reportedly viewed Gakpo as an alternative option to their top target Antony in the summer. Even after sealing a £86million deadline-day deal to sign the Brazil international from Ajax – making Antony the Eredivisie’s all-time most expensive export – the links to Gakpo did not go away.
Leeds United and Southampton both made approaches to sign Gakpo from PSV late in the summer transfer window, but the player decided to stay put and continue his development with the Dutch club.
Erik ten Hag has reportedly remained keen on bringing the 23-year-old forward to Old Trafford as he looks to bolster his squad mid-season following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“There are two things. First, goals can also come out of our own club: see Garnacho, see Elanga, see Pellistri, who made a good impression in the World Cup and in the game against Everton last week in training. That is first,” Ten Hag told reporters.
“We are aware we lost a striker, so I think we have to get a striker in but it has to be the right one. The right one will bring quality to the team and not just an add to the squad because that gives you only problems.
“You know the criteria is high at Manchester United.”
Gakpo has played the majority of his minutes as a left-sided forward for PSV this season, and that’s an area where United are already well-stocked with options, but he showed that he can also play effectively as more of a traditional centre-forward, having been used up top by Louis Van Gaal in the Netherlands’ campaign in Qatar.
But Ten Hag’s Red Devils appear to have missed out on Gakpo’s signature. PSV have announced they reached an agreement with United’s old rivals Liverpool.
The fee is believed to be somewhere between £35million and £45million for the Netherlands international – roughly half what United paid for Antony.
How do the pair compare?
So far this season, Gakpo’s stats are more impressive – he’s scored 17 goals and registered 16 assists in 31 appearances for club and country this season. Antony, meanwhile, has registered five goals and two assists in 16 appearances for Ajax, Manchester United and Brazil.
But how do they compare statistically over the course of a full campaign? We’ve taken a look back at last season, when the two forwards were turning out for title rivals PSV and Ajax, to see how they’ve stacked up against one another – here’s how their Eredivisie stats from 2021-22 compare.
Cody Gakpo – 12
Antony – 8
Cody Gakpo – 13
Antony – 4
Minutes per goal
Cody Gakpo – 159.2
Antony – 217
READ: Comparing Cody Gakpo’s 2022-23 stats to Liverpool’s forwards
Minutes per goal or assist
Cody Gakpo – 76.4
Antony – 144.6
Chances created per 90 minutes
Cody Gakpo – 3.3
Antony – 1.9
Successful dribbles per 90 minutes (success rate)
Cody Gakpo – 3.6 (59.01%)
Antony – 2.2 (59.5%)
Instant reply from Man United! 💥
Antony with a clinical finish to bring the score level ✅ pic.twitter.com/6i5OenOfLV
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 9, 2022
Passes per 90 minutes (passing accuracy)
Antony – 53.0 (82.3%)
Cody Gakpo – 30.8 (77.2%)
Shots per 90 minutes (inside penalty area)
Antony – 4.1 (2.2)
Cody Gakpo – 3.8 (2.2)
READ NEXT: Comparing Man Utd and Liverpool’s net spend since Klopp arrived, 2015
TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every Liverpool player to score v Man Utd in PL since 2000?
Leave a Reply