Cody Gakpo has scored four goals so far for Liverpool (Photo: Getty)
Cody Gakpo has pulled out of the Netherlands squad with illness – just weeks before Liverpool face huge clashes against Arsenal and Chelsea.
The forward was called up for international duty alongside Liverpool teammate Virgil van Dijk, with Holland set to kick-off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.
Ronald Koeman’s side travel to France on Friday night before hosting Gibraltar on Monday.
Having starred for his country at the 2022 World Cup, scoring three goals as they reached the quarter-finals, Gakpo was expected to lead the line once again alongside the likes of Memphis Depay and Wout Weghorst.
However, on Thursday it was announced that five members of the squad had been forced to withdraw through illness.
‘Sven Botman, Cody Gakpo, Matthijs de Ligt, Joey Veerman and Bart Verbruggen left the training camp of the Dutch national team this morning,’ a statement read.
‘They are suffering from a virus infection.
Jurgen Klopp is hoping to keep his Liverpool team as fit as possible (Photo: Getty)
‘With a view to Oranje’s first European Championship qualifier against France, national coach Ronald Koeman calls on three replacements: Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich), Kjell Scherpen (Vitesse) and Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan).’
In some ways, Gakpo missing international duty may come as good news for Jurgen Klopp who is hoping to keep as many of his squad as fit and fresh as possible as Liverpool push to finish in the top four.
Klopp has already been handed a boost with the likes of Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold not getting call ups.
The Reds are currently sixth in the table, seven points off fourth-placed Tottenham, but crucially they have two games in hand over Spurs.
However, Klopp will be praying that Gakpo is 100% again when the season resumes, with Liverpool’s first three games being against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Following a slow start the Dutchman has found his feet at Anfield since signing from PSV in January, with four goals in his last eight games.
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He could miss Liverpool’s games against Arsenal & Chelsea.