PSV Eindhoven’s Luuk de Jong admitted playing without Cody Gakpo in the side played a part in his side’s disappointing draw against Sparta Rotterdam, he told ESPN.
De Jong, who started the first league match since breaking for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, captain the Eredivisie side in their first without Gakpo who has since moved to Liverpool in the Premier League.
While Gakpo made his debut for the Reds in the FA Cup against Wolves, PSV struggled to find an opening at the Philips Stadion as they looked to pile on the pressure on league leaders Feyenoord who had just a three-point advantage between themselves and fifth-place AZ Alkmaar before last weekend’s matches.
De Jong admitted that the loss of Gakpo played a role in the side as they look for a quick short-term solution to their problem while the club’s recruitment explore their options in the transfer market.
He said: “Of course you miss a player like that. He’s your top scorer, he had the most assists, was the most valuable player in the Eredivisie. Then I can hardly say: we don’t miss him. Any team would have that.
“But even then, we can absorb that and we have enough qualities. Then we just have to win a match like that at home and that we can’t do that is weak.”
Gakpo left the Dutch side with nine goals and 12 assists in the Eredivisie, making him joint-top scorer and the league’s biggest provider before his big money move to Anfield.