Cody Gakpo might have joined Liverpool too early and is struggling to find his feet in an underperforming team, says new Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman.
The 23-year-old forward had a breakout World Cup in Qatar, scoring three goals in five matches as the Netherlands reached the quarter-finals.
However, he has yet to score in six appearances for Liverpool since joining from PSV Eindhoven in January.
“He has ended up in a team that is not doing well,” Koeman said.
“If you don’t score or you’re not important and you don’t win any matches, it’s very difficult, especially for a young player.
“If that was someone aged 28, with experience, it would be different.”
Former Everton boss Koeman, now his second spell as Netherlands manager, said it could be a difficult adjustment for young Dutch players moving to bigger leagues.
“The level in England is higher than in the Netherlands,” he said on a YouTube show hosted by former footballer Andy van der Meyde.
“But they are also young boys, aren’t they? Like [Ryan] Gravenberch going to Bayern [Munich] and not playing. Then that is difficult.”
Before joining the Merseyside club, Gakpo had scored nine goals and made 12 assists in 14 matches for PSV in the Eredivisie this season.