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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

£35m Star Could Be Anfield’s Own Bellingham

Liverpool target Ryan Gravenberch is reportedly keen on a move to Anfield this summer and the Dutchman could be an ideal alternative to Jude Bellingham in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.

Could Liverpool sign Gravenberch this summer?

According to reports from Spain, the former Ajax man is unhappy with his game time following his move from the Dutch giants last summer, with just two starts to his name in the Bundesliga.

Things haven’t changed under Thomas Tuchel and the 21-year-old is said to have met with the management team at the Allianz Arena recently in order to request a move to Anfield, where he feels he could be a key part of Klopp’s midfield revolution ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.


Understandably, that has put the Reds in pole position to seal a signing that could well be a bargain price.

A report from Football Transfers last month suggested that while Die Roten are keen to keep hold of the talented youngster, an offer of €40m (£35m) could be enough to tempt him away in the upcoming window.

Would Gravenberch be a good signing?

Although Gravenberch’s time at Bayern isn’t much to go off, his time at Ajax saw him recognised as one of the top young midfielders in Europe after some superb performances.

His final season with the club saw him notch two goals and five assists in 30 Eredivisie appearances, earning a superb 7.33 average rating from WhoScored for his performances.

Midfield reinforcements are vital for Klopp this summer if Liverpool are to challenge for the title again next season, especially with James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita all departing on free transfers.

With Fabinho and Thiago both getting on, a youngster such as Gravenberch could be ideal at Anfield as Klopp looks to build a team for the future, although the Dutchman possesses the impressive physicality and title-winning experience that the likes of Harvey Elliot and Fabio Carvalho arguably lack.

His former coach Brian Tevreden said: “Technically, I would say he’s a better version of Pogba in his best days at Juventus, in terms of his technique and his presence on the pitch. He’s very dominant like Pogba was, and that’s what I see in Ryan.”

Would Gravenberch be an ideal Bellingham alternative?

Liverpool were once touted as a potential destination for the Borussia Dortmund star but Real Madrid’s interest combined with the Reds’ failure to qualify for the Champions League means that a move is surely no longer on the cards.


However, FBref coincidentally suggests that the England international is the third-most similar player to Gravenberch when compared with other midfielders across Europe’s top leagues.

If we compare the Netherlands international’s stats from last season with Bellingham’s from the 2022/23 campaign, they registered extremely similar numbers with regard to passes into the penalty area (both 45) aerial duels won (35 vs 34) and expected assists (3.9 vs 4).as a marker of their ball-playing and athletic prowess.

Gravenberch is clearly a physical ball-carrier with huge potential and while he might not be Liverpool’s first choice in midfield, the Dutchman is clearly keen to move away from Munich and could be a superb alternative to Bellingham for Klopp this summer.

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