Liverpool’s new forward Cody Gakpo and the other injured midfield duo are been included in the Champions League knockout stage squad.
With the January transfer window now officially closed, teams that advanced to the UCL Round of 16 are finalizing their squads that will be eligible for the knockout stage. Due to the potential for new signings, departures, and injuries, clubs that advance past the group stage are able to make three changes to the named 25-player squad.
Inclusions & Exclusions?
One of the three changes that the Merseyside giants have made is the inclusion of new forward signing Cody Gakpo. Also adding to that list are Naby Keita and Alex Olade-Chamberlain, both of whom were dealing with injuries during the group stage of this season’s competition.
This inclusion also means the exit of three players from the squad. The player who are no longer in the squad are Arthur Melo, Calvin Ramsay, and Stefan Bajcetic.
Arthur Melo’s removal is due to a long-term thigh injury that has kept him sidelined since October, and Ramsey’s exclusion is likely due to the fact that Jurgen Klopp seems to prefer Joe Gomez or James Milner to spell Trent Alexander-Arnold at right back.
Although Stefan Bejcetic is excluded from the squad but he will be still available due to his young age. The 18-year-old will be available for List B.
Cody Gakpo in the Champions League
The addition of Gakpo will be crucial against the 14 times Champions League winners. The Holland international has previous experience playing in the Champions League. He has played 4 matches where he had 1 assist and a total of 78 attempts with a pass accuracy of 79.5% according to uefa.com.
The Merseyside club will be hoping to get some revenge for last year’s disappointing UCL final loss to Los Blancos. The Reds are already out of FA Cup and League Cup. While the first match of R16 is on February 21 at Anfield.