Why Liverpool have signed Ryan Gravenberch

The 2023 summer transfer window has been one of the most transformative in Liverpool’s modern history.

Jurgen Klopp saw five first-team midfielders leave and brought in four new ones. “We have a big challenge to reinvent pretty much one of the most successful midfields this club ever had,” the German coach warned at the end of the summer upheaval.

Ryan Gravenberch was the final piece of the rebuild to arrive, finalising his move from Bayern Munich on transfer deadline day. There was no future in Bavaria for the sparingly used 21-year-old, so why were Liverpool willing to splash £34m for him?

“Counter-pressing is your ticket into this team,” Klopp revealed in April.

It explained why Cody Gakpo was so swiftly integrated into Liverpool’s setup after his January arrival from PSV Eindhoven and offered some insight into Darwin Nunez’s struggles.

Gravenberch was described as “the prototype of a complete player” by former Ajax and PSV striker Wim Kieft when he purposefully strode into senior football as a 16-year-old. Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag gave Gravenberch his debut and explained how his strength may be on the ball but he does’t shirk his defensive duties.

“He has a lot of capabilities, especially in an attacking sense, but he understands hard work.” Ten Hag said. That discipline will be integral to his success at Liverpool.

Klopp has been a long-term admirer of the 6’3 midfielder and quickly rattled off the player’s skill set upon his arrival on Merseyside.

“He is super-talented, he can drive the ball, he can be really a box-to-box threat, he is going there. He has a good eye for a pass and a good pass,” Klopp gushed.

Ryan Gravenberch

Ryan Gravenberch played less than 1,000 minutes for Bayern Munich / Daniel Kopatsch/GettyImages

Gravenberch, who has likened himself to a “contortionist” in the past, is more likely to daintily manoeuvre his hulking frame around an opponent rather than bypass them with a scalpel pass.

Brian Tevreden, Gravenberch’s youth-team coach at Ajax, hailed him as “a better version of [Paul] Pogba in his best days at Juventus, in terms of his technique and his presence on the pitch”. Lofty praise indeed.

Thomas Tuchel explained that Gravenberch had such limited success at Bayern – he was afforded just six starts across all competitions, fewer than backup goalkeeper Sven Ulreich – because he favoured a role that didn’t exist in the Bavarians’ setup.

The left side of Liverpool’s midfield three – or potentially in a double pivot together with Wataru Endo – suits all of Gravenberch’s impressive attributes.









Bayern Munich





Liverpool were heavily interested in Gravenberch 12 months ago, only narrowly missing out in their pursuit when the midfielder plumped for Bayern.

As early as April this year, 90min revealed that Liverpool were one of several Premier League clubs that had registered an interest in the Dutch under-21 international. The Reds always had midfield reinforcements at the top of their shopping list this summer but the surprise departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho – both to the Saudi Pro League – increased the demand.

After paying the release clauses for Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, Liverpool embarrassingly lost out to Chelsea in their pursuit of both Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia. Endo eventually arrived from Stuttgart as a specialist holding midfielder but Klopp’s rebuild was not complete.

Gravenberch has always prioritised game time when making career decisions and told Bayern Munich that he wanted to get off the bench back in April. The 21-year-old reiterated that desire in August when Manchester United were still vying with Liverpool for his signature.

Ultimately, the Red Devils turned their attention towards Sofyan Amrabat, leaving Liverpool to directly negotiate with Bayern. A fee of £34m was agreed, ensuring that Bavarians made a tidy profit after signing Gravenberch for an initial £16m just 12 months earlier.

Ryan Gravenberch

Ryan Gravenberch will not play for Liverpool against Aston Villa on Sunday / Apinya Rittipo/GettyImages

A bleary-eyed Gravenberch only boarded a plane to England in the small hours of Friday morning before the deal was finalised on transfer deadline day. Liverpool wrapped up negotiations before the window slammed shut but missed the cut-off for player registration ahead of Aston Villa’s trip to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

Any Premier League player must be registered with the league by 12pm on the working day before a top-flight match. Gravenberch’s arrival was announced at 9.45am on Friday but the player’s work permit was not processed quickly enough.

“I got told that it will not happen with the paperwork,” Klopp confirmed. “I’m pretty sure on deadline day everybody, or the decisive offices, are pretty busy.”

Gravenberch enjoyed a full pre-season with Bayern – even appearing against Liverpool in one friendly – and so should be fit enough to be immediately considered for selection. Liverpool are next in action against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 16 September, after the imminent international break.

Liverpool’s final signing of 2023 will have to wait until 24 September for his home debut, when West Ham United go to Anfield.

On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth, Graeme Bailey and Sean Walsh to discuss the deals that did and didn’t happen on deadline day. They talk over Ryan Gravenberch’s move to Liverpool, why Joao Palhinha didn’t join Bayern Munich, Sofyan Amrabat’s loan to Man Utd and more.

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News

Related posts

Giants’ Saquon Barkley hopeful Jonathan Taylor is traded to team ‘that respects him and values him’

BBC Brk News

Every England player sent off in a World Cup

BBC Brk News

Yankees’ Aaron Judge hints offseason surgery is under consideration to repair injured toe

BBC Brk News

Leave a Comment