Michael Owen ‘feels sorry’ for new Liverpool signing Cody Gakpo after Chelsea draw: ‘Even Lionel Messi would struggle’

    Michael Owen 'feels sorry' for the new Liverpool signing
    Michael Owen ‘feels sorry’ for the new Liverpool signing (Pictures: Getty)

    Michael Owen ‘feels sorry’ for new Liverpool signing Cody Gakpo and says even Lionel Messi would struggle to make an impact in the underperforming Reds team.

    Liverpool’s underwhelming form continued at Anfield on Saturday as they were held to a goalless draw by Chelsea.

    Jurgen Klopp’s side were brilliant last season – winning two domestic trophies, finishing second in the Premier League and reaching the Champions League final – but the team have won just eight of their 19 games this season to drop into the mid-table pack.

    Owen says Liverpool’s struggles have made it difficult for January signing Gakpo to hit the ground running but remains confident that the Netherlands international will prove to be a valuable signing.

    Liverpool spent around £40m to sign Gakpo from PSV at the start of the month but the 23-year-old is still searching for his first goal for the club.

    ‘I feel sorry for him actually because he’s coming in to a team that are really inconsistent and drained of all the confidence that we’ve seen in the past,’ Owen told Premier League Productions.

    ‘He had a couple of half-chances today [against Chelsea] and it’s clear he’s trying.

    Liverpool signed Gakpo from PSV earlier this month
    Liverpool signed Gakpo from PSV earlier this month (Picture: Getty)

    ‘I’m sure he’s going to be a good signing for the future but at the moment, I would defy even Lionel Messi to come in and look good in this team because it’s really struggling.’

    Former England winger Shaun Wright-Phillips also commented on Gakpo’s start at Anfield, adding: ‘I think he’s trying to make an impact on games and have an influence.

    ‘But he’s in a struggling Liverpool team right now and when that confidence is up, that’s when we’ll see the real Gakpo.

    ‘Especially when the ball retention is better from Liverpool, it gives him more time to get into the positions he wants to. They need to be patient with him.’

    Liverpool’s goalless draw with struggling Chelsea leaves them nine points outside the Champions League places, although that gap could grow as teams play their games in hand.

    ‘The distance we only can influence by winning – and we didn’t do that today,’ Klopp said when asked about Liverpool’s top-four hopes.

    ‘They cannot all lose now, some of them will win, some of them will draw. There are a lot of games to play, there are still a lot of games to play, and if you count all the points then you see a lot of things are possible.

    ‘But to get there we have to continue with the things again we did now for the last two games. I saw progress, that’s good and that’s what we have to keep doing.’

    MORE : James Milner blames the pitch for Liverpool’s draw with Chelsea

    MORE : Sir Alex Ferguson sends message to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

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