Virgil Van Dijk, Netherlands captain and arguably, one of the best center-backs in the world right now, effectively took a savage shot at the Red Devils in a press conference where he was asked about a teammate, Cody Gakpo’s future.
Cody Gakpo, for those of you who don’t know, is Netherland’s golden child, with 3 goals in 4 appearances for the national side in the FIFA World Cup.
At only 23 years of age, the striker has already proved that he’s A-squad material, racking up a tally of 9 goals and 12 assists in only 14 Eredivisie appearances for Dutch giants, PSV this season.
And the performance of that calibre usually tends to attract attention from Europe. As such, there are 2 clubs that have expressed heavy interest in signing the Dutch striker – Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Now the Red Devils’ interest in Gakpo comes amid Ten Hag‘s desperate bid to rebuild and cultivate United’s attack and goalscoring ability.
Gakpo is a player that is optimal for Ten Hag’s vision because of the fact that he’s yet to be corrupted by the world of European glamour and egos and because he’s an effective presence in the final third.
Real Madrid too, claims that the 23-year-old has been on their radar for a while now and looking at his impressive numbers in the World Cup, the Los Blancos might just snap up the opportunity to invite some fresh talent into the club.
That said when Van Dijk was asked about Gakpo’s transfer rumours and whether he felt it was the right time for the 23-year-old to move to the big leagues, so to speak, the center-back responded with a brutally honest opinion about the Red Devils, and it wasn’t pretty.
Van Dijk said, “Are Manchester United and Real Madrid on the same level? No disrespect, not at all.”
“I definitely think he has that next step in him. I definitely feel like it could happen, whether that is in the winter or the summer or next year, time will tell. He is a great boy who works hard, very talented and definitely, there is more in him. We are so pleased he is doing so well for us. Long may it continue.”
It is highly likely that United will push for Gakpo’s induction into the club because Ten Hag is presently lost in the final third with only 1 effective finisher – Marcus Rashford.
However, looking at the internal situation at Old Trafford, Cody Gakpo will have to consider how the Red Devils’ future could play out or affect his imminent success.