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5 games, 4 goals, 1 assist – Ten Hag's priority target proves remarkable consistency

Netherlands drew 1-1 with Ecuador in Qatar during their second-game clash in Group A.

The game kicked off at a scintillating pace, with both teams looking to impose themselves. The Oranje were the first to draw blood through the talents of one Cody Gakpo.

A striker in form

Gakpo sent a thunderous left-footed effort rocketing into the roof of the net in the sixth minute. The strike means the young striker has scored twice in two games for the Netherlands.

His first goal was a well-placed header against Senegal in their country’s World Cup opener.

Unlucky to lose

Ecuador were arguably the better side on the night, playing with greater intensity and drive to go forward.

They will feel hard done by a VAR decision that came just before half-time.

Ecuador had a goal disallowed because a player was deemed to be offside. The accused was seen to be obstructing Dutch keeper Andries Noppert’s line of sight and ability to play when Ecuador took the goalscoring shot.

The disallowed goal means that Dutch starlet Gakpo’s goal was enough to secure a point for the Oranje.

Worth the price tag

Great performances in international competitions are an open invitation to football’s elite to pursue a player.

If there was any doubt as to why Cody Gakpo has been under the watchful eye of Manchester United’s scouts, the attacker has put that skepticism firmly to rest.

According to Statman Dave on Twitter, Cody Gakpo has scored or assisted in each of his last 5 games for the Netherlands.

Against Ecuador, it took Gakpo just a mere 6 minutes to send a message to the top European clubs.

The Dutch striker sent a clear message to Erik ten Hag and any onlooking suitors.

The statement was signed with his left foot and delivered on the grandest stage football has to offer.

Before the World Cup, Gakpo’s asking price would have been around €50m. The 23-year-old’s stock is sure to have risen now. The youngster has showcased the full range of weapons in his arsenal through his clinical performances.

VAR may have turned villain again in the eyes of the Ecuador fans and team, but Gakpo walks away a hero and an exciting prospect for the Red Devils if they succeed in signing the attacker.

The Netherlands will go up against hosts Qatar next on November 29. Qatar are effectively eliminated due to their 3-1 loss against Senegal.

Will Gakpo score again? United will be watching.

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