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Nigel De Jong praises Cody Gakpo after the Netherlands striker’s THUNDEROUS goal against Ecuador 

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‘He’s an actual talent’: Nigel De Jong heaps praise on Manchester United goal Cody Gakpo after the Netherlands striker’s THUNDEROUS finish gave them an early lead against Ecuador

Cody Gakpo has been widely praised after hammering within the opening goal of the Netherlands World Cup clash against Ecuador. 

The 23-year-old took the ball on the sting of the box within the sixth minute, shifted it on to his left foot and fired a ferocious shot past Hernan Galindez within the Ecuador goal.

It continues a superb run of form for Gakpo, who has scored nine goals in 14 league games for PSV this season.

Cody Gakpo opened the scoring within the Netherlands 1-1 draw with Ecuador on Friday

Nigel De Jong praised the young winger as a 'real talent' after the early goal

Nigel De Jong praised the young winger as a ‘real talent’ after the early goal

Nigel De Jong felt the forward is becoming a key player for the Dutch. Chatting with ITV at half time, he said of the goal: ‘He’s an actual talent, it’s great pass from Ake, nevertheless it was a fantastic strike. It was also along with his left-foot, his weaker foot. 

‘That is what we wish to see from Dutch football, breaking lines and in addition a striker coming off. It was self-inflicted from Ecuador, but in fact it was a difficult angle.’

He added that Gakpo might want to step up for the Netherlands within the absence of other more experienced stars, saying: ‘That is the guy in form now for the Dutch team, especially with Memphis Depay not fully fit yet.’

‘We’d like creativity from other players and we’d like others to step as much as the occasion. Gakpo has done that in two games.’

The young winger has also been lauded by former West Ham striker Dean Ashton as a player ‘everyone shall be watching’.

Gakpo impressed by 'taking charge of the situation', said former West Ham star Dean Ashton

Gakpo impressed by ‘taking charge of the situation’, said former West Ham star Dean Ashton

In quotes carried by TalkSPORT, he described Gakpo as: ‘A young player at the highest of his game, brimming along with his confidence after his goal against Senegal… it was past the goalkeeper before he could even imagine to avoid wasting it. 

‘It was a unbelievable strike, he totally took charge of that situation.

‘What a star this young man goes to be. He’s just one in all those rising stars that each club shall be taking a look at.’

Enner Valencia equalised for Ecuador to leave them joint top of Group A with the Netherlands

Enner Valencia equalised for Ecuador to go away them joint top of Group A with the Netherlands

Gakpo has previously been linked with a move to Manchester United and shall be on the radar or quite a few clubs after his showing on Friday.

Ecuador equalised through Enner Valencia after half time, meaning the Netherlands were ultimately held to a 1-1 draw.

The result leaves the 2 sides tied on 4 points at the highest of group A, with qualification prone to be decided by Ecuador’s clash with Senegal on Tuesday. 

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