Liverpool must revisit their interest in Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch over the summer as they search for Gini Wijnaldum’s replacement.
What’s the story?
Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (as reported by SportWitness), claimed Jurgen Klopp’s charges were among the 19-year-old’s list of suitors back in April, and the Reds would be foolish not to follow their admiration up with a concrete offer.
It’s not often a teenage talent attracts such widespread attention after only one full season in the senior set-up, but such is Gravenberch’s talent, Liverpool may have to move quickly to secure his services.
Liverpool must swoop
His outstanding displays have earned Gravenberch many plaudits throughout his short career, including former Netherlands international Wim Kieft.
“He is the greatest talent in the Netherlands. Only 18-years-old, but the prototype of a complete player. You see him grow every week,” Kieft said back in November.
“If someone like this makes his debut at the highest level, the big question is whether he can keep up with the faster pace. Gravenberch picks up on that very quickly.
“Also in the Champions League. When you see how, despite his height and physically, he easily turns away in the crowds and accelerates, you don’t see that much.”
The youngster has passed every test thrown at him so far and his 1.2 key passes per league game in 2020/21 – the joint-fifth highest in the Ajax squad, 68.4% pass accuracy and 1.6 dribbles per league game – both the second-highest amongst his teammates – illustrate the pivotal part he played in his side’s success.
While Gravenberch excels with the ball at his feet, he’s also blessed with enviable natural attributes.
Standing at 6 ft 3, the Dutch international would have no issue adapting to the physical demands of the Premier League and he could easily slot into the role left behind by his Dutch compatriot at Liverpool.
Wijnaldum was often charged with recycling possession, easing the pressure and keeping things simple in the Anfield outfit’s engine room, all things that Gravenberch excels at.
Therefore, the Reds must revisit their interest in the Ajax prodigy and make a swoop before one of Europe’s other big guns show their hand.
Gravenberch has everything it takes to become Wijanldum 2.0, Liverpool must act to make sure he becomes that at Anfield and not elsewhere.