When it came to age, Louis van Gaal got a little confused.

"Cody is a very young player, only 21 years old," said the Bonds coach of his new star Cody Gakpo.

Although the highly praised is already 23, but the core statement of Gaal is correct.

The professional from PSV Eindhoven doesn't have a lot of experience yet - and yet he delighted the whole Netherlands with his goals at the World Cup.

Oranje has scored five times so far, three times by Gakpo.

Each time it was the lead, which makes the goals even more valuable.

"He's doing very well, and not just because of the goals," praised veteran Marten de Roon.

However, Gakpo's qualities are not new to him.

"No, he's playing a little more offensively than before, but we know his qualities, so that's no surprise for us." And goalkeeper Andries Noppert said: "If you score three goals in three games, you're important."

Gakpo is doing the job that was originally reserved for Memphis Depay.

But the long-injured star of FC Barcelona is carefully built up, played for the first time in the group victory against Qatar 2-0 in the starting XI.

Looking at Gakpo's résumé only highlights his achievement even further.

The lanky attacking player only played his eleventh international match against Qatar.

The international experience at club level is not much bigger.

17 games in the Europa League, five in the Conference League and 12 in Champions League qualifiers.

Luckily for him, Gakpo had to be forced a bit by van Gaal.

“He always played on the left side.

He didn't want to play as number 10, but he has to with me. Now he thinks I'm a great coach," said the Bonds coach, who emphasized again: "Cody has everything it takes to become a star .

He is very open-minded.”

He now has to show how good Gakpo really is in the round of 16 on Saturday against the USA (4 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the World Cup and on MagentaTV).

"Now comes the really important phase of the tournament," emphasized van Gaal.

He has already observed the upcoming opponent – ​​and is impressed by the US boys.

"They are fantastic," said the 71-year-old.

"Very smart and good on the ball." But so is Gakpo.