open menulivescore

In Focus: Talented Dutchman Ryan can get Reds flying
Copy icon

Adam Drury
Ryan Gravenberch is Liverpool's fourth midfield signing of the summer
Ryan Gravenberch is Liverpool's fourth midfield signing of the summer

Just 12 months after leaving Ajax for Bayern Munich, Ryan Gravenberch is on the move again.

The starlet has signed for Liverpool on a five-year deal for a £34.3million fee, continuing the Merseysiders' reboot in the middle of the pitch.

And after an awkward 12 months in Germany, Anfield could be the perfect spot for Gravenberch to get back on track.

Young starter

Gravenberch has been destined for great things ever since making his senior Ajax debut in 2018.

Aged just 16 years and 130 days, the midfielder became the club's youngest player in the Eredivisie, beating the record set by Clarence Seedorf.

But it was not until the 2020-21 season that he truly established himself for the first team, making 47 appearances as they won the league title and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

A lucrative move elsewhere in Europe was an inevitability and it was Bayern who reportedly coughed up more than £15m to sign him.

Broken relationship

Ryan Gravenberch made 34 appearances for Bayern Munich
Ryan Gravenberch made 34 appearances for Bayern Munich

Things did not go to plan in Germany where the Dutch international expected to feature far more often than he did.

The established midfield duo of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka were difficult to shift and Gravenberch failed to make enough of an impression in small cameos to convince either Julian Nagelsmann or Thomas Tuchel of his worth.

He would frequently bemoan his lack of playing time in the Dutch media, saying in June: "I expected to play more minutes than I did. I thought I would get some more chances.

"It's about just wanting to play, that's the most important thing at my age."

Tuchel was insistent all summer that he needed a new midfielder yet was still happy to let Gravenberch leave — an indicator that the relationship between the pair was broken.

Klopp's rebuild

Step forward Liverpool, who have their hands on a potential superstar for a considerably smaller fee than those spent on other central midfielders this summer.

Jurgen Klopp was reportedly keen on Gravenberch last year and now landed the Dutchman to complete a midfield rebuild that has seen him bring in four players.

Like fellow newbie Alexis Mac Allister, the 21-year-old is a typical modern midfielder, capable of playing as a single holding player, in a two, or more advanced.

He completed more dribbles per game than any Ajax player in the 2021-22 Eredivisie campaign and likes to run with the ball from deep, but also has a good enough passing range to control the tempo of matches.

Ryan Gravenberch failed to make a big impact at Bayern Munich last season
Ryan Gravenberch failed to make a big impact at Bayern Munich last season

Ten Hag approval

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag oversaw Gravenberch's development at Ajax and was reportedly keen on a reunion at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag ended up signing Sofyan Amrabat but a glowing report of his former protegee in 2022 suggests that he will feel he missed out.

When he was still in charge of Ajax, the United chief boss said: " He accelerates out of the positional play, does good dribbling, has enormous passing accuracy and takes part in the build-up of the game.

"Due to his athleticism and physique, he is also strong in the transition game and can win the balls."

That will be music to the ears of Klopp, who must replace those attributes after losing Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.


Premier LeagueBundesligaLiverpoolBayern MunichRyan Gravenberch
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

App storeGoogle play