Ryan Gravenberch to Liverpool – transfer breakdown!

Dwij Mukherjee
By Dwij Mukherjee
5 Min Read

The rumours of Ryan Gravenberch being unhappy at Bayern Munich for not getting enough game time and wanting to join Liverpool have remained constant since the start of the transfer window. The Dutch midfielder rose through the ranks of Ajax Academy and made a name for himself in the Eredivisie. And now there are possibilities we get to enjoy him at Anfield.

Following the departure of 5 midfielders, the Reds need to incorporate some more players into the squad. The signings of Mac Allister and Szoboszlai are not enough to make up the numbers. Romeo Lavia is also expected to join but they need a midfielder exactly in the profile of Gravenberch.

Ryan Gravenberch – Football Journey and Playing Style

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Gravenberch is a versatile midfielder who plays as a CM on either side of a six in a three-man midfield but prefers to be on the left-hand side. He can play in a double pivot or as a lone six if necessary. He is one of the tallest midfielders in the top European leagues, standing at 190cm. In fact, according to the statistics, the 20-year-old is the joint-eighth tallest midfielder in the top five European leagues this season.

Considering his playing style, he would be an ideal fit for Liverpool’s current predicament. The team lacks senior defensive midfielders apart from Thiago, who is susceptible to injuries. Additionally, their recent acquisitions, Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik, as well as Curtis Jones, prefer playing in more advanced positions on the field.

Gravenberch likes to play short passes and shoot from a distance, something common to every number 6. Additionally, he avoids aggressive tackles, preferring instead to manipulate the movement of opposing players in directions that minimize the creation of scoring opportunities.

Tactical Analysis: Gravenberch’s Contributions

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The player’s profile is very similar to another former Liverpool Dutch player, Gini Wijnaldum whom they never properly replaced. While at Ajax, Ryan Gravenberch averaged 5.82 progressive passes per 90 and 3.16 passes into the final third per 90. His ability to carry the ball from deeper areas is another real strength in his game. He does this so well because of several factors, including his close control, strength/power, and awareness

That season, the midfielder averaged 6.32 progressive carries per 90 minutes in European competition. He also impressed the Liverpool manager when he played against them in the Champions League group stage. His movement and awareness are also top notch which is no surprise as former manager Eric Ten Hag used to prefer to start the young Dutchman and hence has racked up over 100 appearances for Ajax.

His move to Bayern Munich was supposed to be a stepping stone in his career but rather ended up slowing him down. With only 33 appearances to his name, he is just an afterthought at Munich. His 2.33 tackles and 1.17 interceptions per 90 minutes are admirable, but they pale in comparison to Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, who provide far more in the defensive third.

A Potential Move to Liverpool

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A move to Liverpool would benefit both sides as Gravenberch would solidify the midfield and can play in either of the 4-2-2-3 formations as one-half of the double pivot or the 4-3-3 role as the sole Number 6. Ryan Gravenberch is also far more comfortable holding the ball than the two departed players Henderson and Fabinho.

Liverpool has rekindled their interest in the Dutch footballer but Bayern remains reluctant to sell him, but if a worthy enough bid comes their way they might lose their grip on the player. But based on Liverpool’s style of business in recent years they are not going to spend big on a single player and would try to play the bidding war game which would hardly pique the interest of Bayern officials. It remains to be seen whether the player does make the move to Anfield this summer.

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