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Football

31st Aug 2023

Ryan Gravenberch: The pros and cons of Liverpool’s potential new signing

Lee Costello

Ryan Garvenberch

Liverpool are in talks with the Bayern Munich midfielder.

Liverpool are in talks with Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch, and the versatile midfielder could fulfil a number of roles for Jurgen Klopp’s team.

It’s no secret that Liverpool are currently lacking in squad depth, and despite getting off to a good start to the season, the underlying problems are already beginning to come to the surface.

Ibrahima Konate, Curtis Jones and Thiago have already missed games this season through injury, while the team captain Virgil van Dijk is set to be suspended for two games following a red card against Newcastle.

The cup competitions haven’t even begun for Liverpool yet, and with the tasking challenge of the Europa League awaiting them, which involves lots of travel and extra games, then they are going to end up very depleted without reinforcements.

Gravenberch has been on Klopp’s shortlist last summer, but the then Ajax star decided to make the move to Germany, and although Liverpool enquired about a loan deal in January, it wasn’t permitted.

Despite getting limited game time with Bayern, losing out to Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in the starting team, the young star is still a very exciting prospect.

A prodigal son at Ajax, the young star was given his debut at just 16-years-old, by none other than current Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag.

The Anfield exit door is still swinging from an exodus of midfielders including Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Fabinho, so the reinforcement is badly needed.

Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister, and Waturo Endo have already been brought in, so where exactly would Gravenberch fit in, and what are the pros and cons of this potential signing?

PRO: Age profile

Ryan Gravenberch

At just 21 years old, Gravenberch already has bag loads of experience, including the World Cup, Champions League and Bundesliga.

Klopp loves working with young players, work with them, and help fulfil their full potential which this young man has bucket loads of.

Endo was signed as a ready-made number six, someone who is experienced but maybe not as fresh in the legs, so this is the perfect signing to help balance out the midfield.

CON: Not traditionally a CDM

Ryan Gravenberch

Ask any Liverpool fan what they need right now, and the words “centre defensive midfielder” will blurt out of their mouth before you can say Caicedo.

The Munich star is traditionally a number eight, preferring a more advanced role, but has played at number six before, and with youth on his side, along with his huge size, strength and presence, Klopp could shape him into one rather smoothly.

PRO: Versatile

A sitting midfielder, a left sided midfielder in a pivot, or even more advanced nearer to goal, he has already played and experimented with these positions.

When the season gets long and the squad inevitably starts to feel the hit of injuries from match overload, Grevnberch could be the perfect one-size-fits-all solution to whatever problem presents itself.

CON: Ultimately failed at Bayern Munich

The Bundesliga champions signed the youngster in the hope that he would play a big part to play for the next number of years, but ultimately he failed to get a starting place, and they are already willing to sell him after one season.

The Premier League is a much more demanding competition than the German one, and Liverpool don’t have the squad depth to just ease him, as it’s more likely that he will be thrust straight into big games, with a lot at stake.

PRO: Ooh Dutch friends

Ryan Gravenberch

Luckily for Gravenberch, he will see some familiar faces at Anfield, and is well used to playing under the leadership of van Dijk, who is captain of Holland as well as Liverpool.

Cody Gakpo, who was the country’s star forward at the 2022 World Cup is also enjoying life on Merseyside, and has really settled into his groove after a difficult start.

Seen primarily as a replacement for Roberto Firmino, Gakpo took time to learn the role and adapt his game accordingly, but is one of the first names on the team sheet now, and will be the perfect example for Gravenberch to follow.

CON: Little time to embed himself

Ideally, you want to be joining your new team early in the summer to get a decent pre-season under your belt, get used to the new manager, new teammates, new style of play, and new league.

Gravenberch will be thrust straight from the bench in Germany to a starting team in England, and one of the most physically demanding teams you can play on.

Klopp’s “heavy metal football” is very hard on the body, and it takes a certain player with lots of endurance, durability and longevity in the legs to master it. It’s one of the reasons the German native loved players like Henderson and Milner.

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