Liverpool are real fans of Ryan Gravenberch, according to reports. We think the Ajax youngster would be a wonderful fit at the club.
Goal believes Liverpool like Ryan Gravenberch. Does that mean a deal is happening this summer? No, but it suggests this is one to watch.
Ajax youngsters don’t typically stick around long these days, meaning it’s ‘when’ not ‘if’ the midfielder departs for somewhere new. And it sounds as though Liverpool will be near the front of the queue offering him a new club.
For good reason, too – Gravenberch would almost certainly be a great fit for what Liverpool are building.
Ryan Gravenberch to Liverpool?
We’ll delve into the stats for this one using FBref. There we can get a good look at what Gravenberch does when compared to typical central midfielders.
Passing is typically a midfielder’s first requirement so let’s start there. Gravenberch sits above the 80th percentile in both short passes and progressive passes (passes that move the team forward).
In fact, he’s 87th percentile for passing forwards. It’s what you’d expect from an Ajax midfielder, admittedly, but still suggests he’s a very confident player.
He’s 80th percentile for combined crosses and passes into the area, too. Again, he’s a player who wants to make things happen. That’s a trait that meshes brilliantly with Jurgen Klopp’s high-energy system.
But in terms of progressing with the ball, it’s dribbling where Gravenberch really shines. He’s above the 80th percentile for completed dribbles, the number of players he dribbles past per 90 mins and the amount of distance he carries the ball forward per 90.
Then he’s 96th percentile for carrying it into the final third and 94th for the penalty area. That’s all outstanding. Gravenberch is a magnificent young player at getting the team moving forward.
Defensively, he’s a mixed bag. Gravenberch is actually bottom 50% for pressing, though his tackles and interceptions are simply outstanding.
He’s 98th percentile for interceptions per game and 99th for his tackling percentage vs dribblers. Both stats paint him as solid as a rock.
Finally, there’s his shot creation. Gravenberch is around the 89th percentile for creating shots through his dribbling and 75th for creating after a defensive action. Both are ways Liverpool look to make things happen for themselves.
All of this is incredibly encouraging and tells us why Liverpool would want Gravenberch. For one, he’s doing all of this at 19. Give him five or six years and the player should improve in nearly every area.
The Dutchman is someone who wants to win the ball back consistently and then move forward with it quickly. He’ll look to dribble or pass his way towards the opposition box and he’ll do it was fast as he can.
That’s the Liverpool way – or at least, has been under Klopp. Gravenberch would fit in well.
Even better, though, is a potential partnership with Curtis Jones. Gravenberch wouldn’t be the only young player who fits Liverpool’s style, after all. Far from it.
And given his age, there’s room for long-term development alongside the likes of Jones and Harvey Elliott. If Liverpool want to replace Jordan Henderson and Thiago anytime soon, they might not do better than Gravenberch.