Manchester United fans react to missing out on Cody Gakpo

Cody Gakpo is a Liverpool player and Manchester United are chuffed about that, apparently
Cody Gakpo is a Liverpool player and Manchester United are chuffed about that, apparently / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Well, well, well. How long was it? An hour? Two?

The ever-reliable Paul Joyce broke the news that Liverpool were in advanced discussions to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven last night and lo and behold, by the time Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (nowhere near as good as the first one) had finished, everything was all wrapped up. Signed, sealed and delivered.

Who needs season-long transfer sagas when you can get everything done and dusted in one evening?

Manchester United, of course, were considered long-term admirers of Gakpo and favourites for his signature after the Dutch winger had reportedly turned down moves to Leeds United and Southampton in the summer.

It is therefore all the more baffling that they allowed their historic rivals to swoop in and snatch the player up before the January transfer window had even opened.

This brings us to Twitter, still semi-operational despite Elon Musk's best efforts, where the salt and the tears were turned up to maximum.

United fans, we feel you, we really do, but pretending you didn't want a player with nine goals and 12 assists in 14 league games this season (along with three World Cup goals) because he plays the same position as Marcus Rashford is a bit silly, isn't it?

It's a bit daft. Anyway, let's take a lot through some Tweets as we navigate those five stages of transfer grief, from denial to acceptance. Here's denial.

Are you sure Howard? Are you really? Sounds like Erik ten Hag really wanted him. Sounded like he wanted to sign him quite a bit.

Ah, that's it. The scouts weren't impressed. Fair enough. Not sure if there's any group of individuals I'd trust less than Manchester United's scouting department. I'd personally rather a committee of naked mole rats decide my club's transfer policy, but that's a me problem.

Here's some more.

One man who agrees with the Old Trafford scouts is Mo, unless he is simply stating that Gakpo 'is midfielder'. But not everyone has the requisite ability to play for United, that is true. Just ask Scott McTominay, who made only 30 appearances in the Premier League last season.

You know it's possible to have two good players for one position, don't you? You know that both can play as a 9 as well, right? Gakpo can even function as a 10! You know that they could line up in the same starting 11 and shift between roles? And that maybe that would even enhance their attacking output rather than restrict it, in the right system?

Ten Hag wanted the player, he definitely had a vision in mind for the two to play together. It's not some impossible riddle.

Now you get to see how Jurgen Klopp does it and wonder what might have been.

Ah yes, Jadon Sancho. Good thing you have Jadon Sancho in the back. Can't wait for him to remember how to play football.

Dear Carl, are these not both very good things? Yours sincerely, everyone.

A blessing in disguise! Yes, yes, excellent work all round, United. Well done on fluffing that transfer. Will only pay dividends in the long run. 4D chess as ever from the transfer committee.

This seems reasonable but what 'orthodox number nine' are they actually going to sign? Because all I'm seeing is Memphis Depay's name being bandied around and let me tell you... he is not the man to solve your long-term striker problems.

Nor is Joao Felix. Come on now. How are you going to complain about Gakpo's fit and then wish for the signing of Felix? Have you seen him play? Make it make sense.

Can't wait for the right solution to become obvious. Wonder who it'll be. Complete toss-up at this point. Patrick Bamford? Maxim Choupo-Moting? Slabhead himself up top?

The official translation of 'weird signing'? A really good player for a really good fee, by one of our rivals.

The most polished young attacker there's been in the Eredivisie for quite some time but who cares? United won't regret this one bit. Nope. Given their record in the transfer market they'll unearth an even better gem somewhere else.

By the way, has anyone still got Odion Ighalo's number? Just asking for a friend.

Alejandro Garnacho is great... but he's 18 years old! Maybe let's not throw all our eggs in that basket just yet. Do you remember the tale of Adnan Januzaj? How about Federico Macheda? Let's maybe just ease the pressure on this guy a little bit.

'Preferred destination'... my brother, you are literally playing in the Europa League.

Love that saying "it's about balance not quantity." Use it all the time.

And to end...

Yeah.. this one is very reasonable. Spot on really. Can't argue with it. Well done Tom McDermott for seeing the failed transfer for what it is. Hats off to you.